By Ely C. Cataluna
On Illegal Drugs
The recent buy-bus operation on board a ship that had just docked at Basco
Seaport from Manila is indicative of the drug lords' determined efforts
to continue their trade in the rural areas, including far-flung islands
like Batanes. They are now fleeing from the Metro Manila area where the
same campaign initiated by no less than DILG Secretary Alfredo Lim when
he was still a Mayor of Manila is highly successful.
If anything, the success of the shame campaign is also indicative that
"hiya" is a powerful force that can be used to the advantage of society.
However, it should start at home-among the members of the family-and then
progress to the neighbourhood, and eventually to the entire community.
It is also shows that most Filipinos still uphold the traditional values
that have been main source of their strength through generations, and
that despite the grim pronouncements of doomsday prophets, the family
is still the bastion of desirable Filipino values.
Ivatan community leaders should use these values to counter the inroads
of undesirable vices and other negative influences of urban decadence.
In a close-knit society like that of Ivatan, being ostracized for some
wrong you have done would be akin to being condemned in public, maybe
the throwback to the days when suspected witches were burned in Medieval
Europe. But what is paramount is always the welfare of the whole. "Better
to violate a few prophet's rights than to see Batanes one day inhabited
by junkies and half-wits!"
At any rate, the public should continue to cooperate with concerned authorities
so that our beloved islands would always remain comparatively free of
the Drug Menace in the new millennium.
On Illegal Fishing
There is a persistent rumour among local fishermen that a certain group
had been observed using poisonous chemicals possibly cyanide. So far,
there have been no arrests yet to prove that cyanide fishing or any type
of fishing by means of poisonous substances has indeed come to Batanes.
Still, the PNP and other authorities concerned should maintain their vigilance.
Here, even the public should help out so that this illegal activity can
be stopped before others follow suit thinking that it is okay to use poisonous
substances. Perhaps this particular practice was copied from the Taiwanese
poachers who reportedly use these poisonous substances even within municipal