This is quite long but if you want to know how the drug menace has penetrated even the remote villages in the provinces, take time to read.

Last week, I visited a friend in a remote village somewhere in my home province of North Cotabato. The nearest town center is about 20 kilometers away. The barangay proper is accessible to any four-wheeled vehicle. But my friend’s house is in a sitio, which is only accessible by foot or by riding a horse.

Before leaving the barangay proper, a tanod handed over to me a piece of paper. He asked me to hand it over to the sitio leader because the village chief will just catch up with us later.

Almost halfway to our destination, the village chief was able to catch up with us.

More than an hour later, we reached the sitio. I immediately gave the piece of paper to our friend because he knows the sitio leader. The village chief noticed that I handed something to the pastor. He asked us what was that paper. When he saw it, he quickly told us: “Ah, sa tokhang ni. Kay ipatawag namo ang mga adik, paadtuon sa barangay.”

I was surprised. Even in the most remote village, they still have this drug problem. The place is one of the most remote villages in the municipality. It is a farming community. Local folks depend on corn, upland rice and vegetable farming. Some families are also into livestock farming.

The village chief told us that the users are not just addicted to marijuana but shabu as well. He further told us that there are suspected couriers in the village.

What really stunned me was his story about a drug dependent who allegedly ‘raped’ a horse and a pig! We burst into laughter because we thought he was just joking. But the other villagers attested that it’s true. The owner of the pig saw the guy naked and caught him in the act.

The village chief summoned the guy after the owner complained. Our friend was worried for her daughters. They live in the same sitio.

The first time I heard about the stories of how the drug menace has penetrated the remote villages was during the campaign sorties of President Duterte.

A week earlier, I was in a remote village of Sultan Kudarat province and the villagers told us about the same drug problem but minus the ‘rape’ of farm animals.

Now I’ve heard it myself and it’s even worse than I thought. Something must be done.