Bad bad influence indeed. It seems showbiz personalities and politicians in the Philippines have much to answer for when it comes to the scourge of drug abuse in the Philippines. Add to that the glamour appeal of trendy drugs like cocaine.
Cocaine is a powerful nervous system stimulant. Its effects can last from 15-30 minutes to an hour, depending on dosage and the route of administration. It increases alertness, feelings of well-being and euphoria, energy and motor activity, feelings of competence and sexuality. Athletic performance may be enhanced in sports where sustained attention and endurance is required. Anxiety, paranoia and restlessness can also occur, especially during the comedown. With excessive dosage, tremors, convulsions and increased body temperature are observed.
In a series of exposés on the use of this glamorous narcotic, ABS-CBN News reports a deep-undercover agent revealing that dealing and use of cocaine is rampant not just in showbiz but in politics as well…
The situation in showbiz is also taking place in politics, he said. Worse, some of these cocaine users are incumbent public servants.
He said: “Minsan po ‘yong nagtratrabaho po ako, tao po ako ng isang congressman, pinakilala po ako sa mga congressman na kaibigan niya. Naglabas po ako ng cocaine, doon po tinikman nila kung anong klaseng cocaine ang hawak namin.”
“Ang ilan po nakaupo pa, ‘yong iba po wala na po,” he added.
Unlike in showbiz though, Max said their “session” usually takes place in a private house.
Max said it is not easy to arrest these people given their status, adding that they have to be “caught in the act.”
The most recent bust for cocaine possession involving a high-profile Filipino politician involved Rep. Ronald Singson son of Ilocos Sur Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson who was reportedly caught in Hong Kong allegedly in possession of more than 26 grams of the drug. That such obvious targets for investigation get caught by foreign authorities hundreds of miles away from Philippine territory says something about how serious Philippine anti-narcotics agencies are with efforts to nab the truly big fish in the country.
The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act (Republic Act 9165) enacted in 2002 replaces the Dangerous Drug Act of 1972 and stipulates the harsh penalties in store for people caught in possession of 10 grams or more of cocaine…
Sec. 11. Possession of Dangerous Drugs. – The penalty of life imprisonment to death and a fine ranging from Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) to Ten million pesos (P10,000,000.00) shall be imposed upon any person, who, unless authorized by law, shall possess any dangerous drug in the following quantities, regardless of the degree of purity thereof:
(1) 10 grams or more of opium;
(2) 10 grams or more of morphine;
(3) 10 grams or more of heroin;
(4) 10 grams or more of cocaine or cocaine hydrochloride;
(5) 50 grams or more of methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu”;
(6) 10 grams or more of marijuana resin or marijuana resin oil;
(7) 500 grams or more of marijuana; and
(8) 10 grams or more of other dangerous drugs such as, but not limited to, methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDA) or “ecstasy”, paramethoxyamphetamine (PMA), trimethoxyamphetamine (TMA), lysergic acid diethylamine (LSD), gamma hydroxyamphetamine (GHB), and those similarly designed or newly introduced drugs and their derivatives, without having any therapeutic value or if the quantity possessed is far beyond therapeutic requirements, as determined and promulgated by the Board in accordance to Sec. 93, Article XI of this Act.
…yet there are hardly any cases involving high-level public officials and A-List showbiz personalities being processed in Philippine courts.
Part of the allure of cocaine is in the way its preferred method of administration into the system is glamourised in film and television. The image of stars and starlets assuming the snorting position with rolled-up dollar bills stuck up their noses has become stock-standard in Hollywood movies.
The cocaine typically is poured onto a flat, hard surface (such as a mirror, CD case or book) and divided into “bumps”, “lines” or “rails”, and then insufflated (snorted). The amount of cocaine in a line varies widely from person to person and occasion to occasion (the purity of the cocaine is also a factor), but one line is generally considered to be a single dose and is typically 35 mg (a “bump”) to 100 mg (a “rail”)[dubious – discuss]. As tolerance builds rapidly in the short-term (hours), many lines are often snorted to produce greater effects.
Many performing artists (including politicians and, perhaps, some flamboyant “activists”) not surprisingly rely on cocaine to enhance self-confidence, sustain energy levels, and keep themselves peppy all through those countless hours of social obligations and schmoozing with fans and followers.
[NB: Parts of this article were lifted from the Wikipedia.org article “Cocaine” in a manner compliant to the terms stipulated in the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License that governs usage of content made available in this site.]