The Philippines congress
has approved and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has signed a draconian
new anti-drug measure, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The act mandates the death penalty for drug dealing -- no matter how small
the quantity -- or for possession of as little as 500 grams or marijuana
(a pound is 454 grams), ten grams of opium, morphine, heroin, ecstasy,
or cocaine, or 50 grams of methamphetamine, or "shabu," as it is called
in the Philippines. The new law will go into effect in July.
"I want to deliver a message
to all illegal drug traffickers to immediately close their business," said
Rep. Antonio Cuenco (Cebu City) at a press conference at Malacanang Palace
in Manila after President Macapagal-Arroyo signed the bill into law on
June 7. "They have no future. If they are caught, they will
be punished with life imprisonment or a death sentence," said Cuenco, one
of the bill's most ardent proponents.
Among other provisions, the
new law includes:
The new law has broad support
among the political and opinion-leader classes. In a column Monday
lauding the new law, Manila Times columnist Ernesto Herrera referred to
the drug trade as "the Dark Pied Piper" and as "our modern-day Hitler."
In metaphor-mixing, lurid prose, Herrera urged public support for the new
law. "The drug menace has become the dark Pied Piper of the new millennium,"
he wrote, "luring our young people away from what is decent and moral,
toward a huge cave and right into the bowels of despair and decadence,
where hope dare not show its face."
The death penalty for any trafficking,
cultivating, importing, selling, or trading controlled drugs or their chemical
The death penalty for possession
of the amounts listed above.
The death penalty for any government
official found guilty of trafficking or of planting drugs.
A life sentence for possession
of more than five grams of hard drugs.
A 12-year prison sentence for
possession of less than five grams of hard drugs.
Stiff new penalties for using
cell phones or the Internet to make drug deals.
Stiff new penalties for "dangerous
drug financiers, protectors, and coddlers."
Mandatory drug tests for persons
seeking drivers' licenses or weapons permits.
Mandatory drug tests for candidates
for public office.
Mandatory drug tests for persons
charged with a crime punishable by more than six years in prison.
Random drug tests for students
and workers in government and the private sector
Compulsory drug education in
all school levels.
According to the Filipino
government, the country has between 1.7 million and 2.1 million illegal
drug users, "close to 10% of the youth population." DRCNet could
find no sign of any organized drug reform effort in the Philippines.
-- END --
Issue #241, 6/14/02
Federal Judge Issues Injunction Against California Cannabis Clubs | The June 6th Medical Marijuana Actions: One Week Later | With Competing Drug Reform Bills Passed, NY Governor and Assembly Have One Week to Reach Compromise | Border Governors to Discuss Chihuahua Marijuana Legalization | Dan Forbes Goes After Ad Age for McCarthyite Smear | London Borough Proposes De Facto Hard Drug Decrim | Philippines Enacts Death Penalty for Drug Dealing, Possession of a Pound of Marijuana or Tens Grams of Ecstasy | Colombian Paramilitary Leader Again Admits Links with Cocaine Traffic, Calls for Tactical Retreat from the Trade | Newsbrief: Mexico Drug Trade Helps Prevent Social Explosion, Says Researcher | Newsbrief: DARE Dropped in Toledo | Newsbrief: Maryland GOP Governor Candidate Talks Treatment Not Jail | Newsbrief: Supreme Court Ruling Leads to Public Housing Eviction for Son's Marijuana Pipe | Newsbrief: Addicts Vote with Their Feet on Vietnam's New, Lengthy Mandatory Drug Rehab | Newsbrief: Louisiana Judge Busted in Dope-Planting Scheme | Newsbrief: Life for Brownies? California Man Faces Three-Strikes Penalty | Grant Program: Tides Foundation RFPs for Latin America, Prop. 36 Implementation and Overdose Prevention | New DRCNet/StopTheDrugWar.org Merchandise Out -- Discounted Purchase Available | The Reformer's Calendar
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