THE Cebu lawyer who was arrested Friday (November 15) at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport for illegal possession of marijuana at first offered the excuse that it was only a small quantity: at least a gram estimated at P50. What is that in Cebuano-Bisaya: "Usa ka pudyot"?
Later, he must have junked that justification. Someone probably reminded him that illegal possession of marijuana or similar illegal drug is punishable however small the quantity.
Under #3, section 11 of the Dangerous Drugs Law, there is a penalty for possession of "less than five grams." The law doesn't say "at least five grams." So even if it's less than five grams -- or in the lawyer's case, only a gram or so -- the penalty is the same: 12 years and one day to 20 years and a fine of P300,00 to P400,000. (Jail term AND fine.)
The lawyer gave another explanation, according to media reports. He said it "was left in his care" and he forgot to return it. Who left it with him? A client, he said. (Poor clients. A wife asked her lawyer-husband as to who owned a large-size bra she had found in his car. His answer: "A valuable client.")
The lawyers group IBP, Cebu City chapter, urged that the lawyer be given due process but at the same time wanted "the full arm of the law to get to the bottom of this." The lawyer's age was reported in one news site as 55 and in another as 65. He became a lawyer in 1980. The reader has to figure that out.
Where drug addicts went
Why are rehabilitation centers for drug addicts under-utilized? At least two senators, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senator Cynthia Villar, complained Monday during the Senate hearing on the budgets of PDEA and Dangerous Drugs Board.
Zubiri said that in Bukidnon, his home province, a P700-million rehab center with the capacity of 700 patients per cycle has only 80. In Las Pinas, Villar said, the rehab center does not have a single patient.
Explanations were offered: efficiency of LGUs in handling the drug problem or the addicts are in other quarters.
And this, from Zubiri himself: "Baka nalilibing na (Maybe they're already buried."
The drug dependents, numbered at 1.7 million, couldn't have just disappeared. The high number, of course, justifies the big budget: money for non-existent dependents.
Mean words from a diplomat
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddyboy Locsin's undiplomatic name-calling of a bishop is slammed by another bishop, Caloocan Bishop Pablo David, but without Locsin's coarse language.
Locsin called Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles last November 15 a "moron" after the bishop, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines president no less, called for prayers for Vice President Leni Robredo.
In a tweet, Locsin said Valles is a disgrace, telling him to thank President Rodrigo Duterte instead. "Say thank you to the president you moron in a white Mu-Mu. Without him, she'd be stuck with her retarded retinue and ecclesiastical idiots like you." "How did you pass theology?" Locsin pressed on. "You're a disgrace to what is supposed to be the world's most intellectual religion."
Teddyboy insulted not just Valles but also other clergy who are part of Leni's supporters, calling them "ecclesiastical idiots."
David told Locsin that Valles passed theology "with flying colors" and was a professor of theology in several schools before becoming an archbishop.
If Teddyboy wanted to show how a powerful government official can be a jerk (or, in his language, an a**hole) when he does not have to be, the DFA chief succeeded magnificently.
If he wanted to please his boss, he might get an unexpected response, like "Why is Locsin copying my act?"
Tell us about it.