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Dear Editor:

Do you know how lucky we are that drug-related violence is still foreign to our homeland despite the local “epidemic”? Be forewarned that this may soon change for the worse because our drug enforcement is unwittingly creating the conditions for it. The modus operandi (mo) in the “war on drugs” is the “controlled buy” utilizing confidential informants. But the over-reliance on these CI’s to combat drugs is an ill-advised move that may have serious ramifications in due time. In fact, it has already brought about a “snitch epidemic” that is degrading our character and reputation as a people and may soon lead to “street justice”.

Through the years, coppers have been sending the wrong message, about character, putting deceit and betrayal at the bottom of the list for moral sins. The local popularity for snitching these days, only testifies to the “good job” our drug enforcement has done in degrading the morals of our youth in particular. It has now become so easy for young offenders to turn snitch to save their own skins. Because they collaborate with scheming coppers to ruin lives and families, their victims or targets are bound to retaliate sooner or later. We are just lucky that our drug underworld is still quite hospitable and strictly recreational. We are still far from the Philippines’ and China in terms of violence because we are just not at the extreme in our nature and ways, nor are we in “survival mode”.  But the danger of street justice looms for snitches, and coppers should start showing more concern for their safely.

Snitches are typically petty offenders, drugs or otherwise, seeking to evade deserved justice for their pending cases. They are easily persuaded by threats of prosecution or promises of leniency. Cowards or sycophants, snitches scheme and collaborate under duress as they are exploited as pawns to incriminate unwary targets. In our courtroom of late, snitches’ allegations are easily upgraded to testimony worth their weight in cold. Something may not be right here, because it’s not like these snitches ever took lie detector tests; they also are not deputized or given court immunity before collaborating in controlled buys. This tactic is practically coppers sending out criminals (snitches to commit crimes (drug purchases) in order to instigate other crimes (trafficking). As such, It is predisposed to unlawful elements of targeting, entrapment, and complicity (before and after the fact). But this is of no concern to our Court and AG, because they choose to conform to the archaic notions of “government infallibility” and “end justifying means”. At the end of the day, this is subtle oppression directed at a selected minority who may be considered” insignificant, unworthy of trust, even expendable.”

In any case, we certainly need to be concerned with the snitch epidemic. We Palauans are becoming known as hypocrites and sycophants, weak in character and unworthily of trust. And who wants to live far of his/her neighbors or associates? If the government is serous in its efforts to solve our drug problem, enforcement should concentrate more on prevention, most particularly by combating the supply coming from abroad. Instead of manipulating snitches to do their undercover work and perpetuating over ill-repute in the process, coopers should go after drug smugglers at our entry points and at our postal and remittance outposts.  Local drug dealers are only in their illicit trade because the supply and demand is there’ they should not be blamed for drugs on island. The absence of drug-related violence is testament to their good will, but the snitch epidemic may compel them to resort to street justice. Who is to blame if that happens?

I shall end on a somewhat good note, Manyof us familiar with our marine supply say that we also have a” kemedukl epidemic”. And the ban may be so that only our leaders and the rich (including Chinese) get to enjoy this local delicacy in abundance. Thanx….


Arnold Buck