Single mother of three bets on drugs to earn money for family, loses it all after getting arrested, landing in jail
CEBU CITY, Philippines — A single mother of three turned to the illegal drugs business to earn fast money to raise her family.
Having no income to provide for her family because she had no job, 23-year-old Jonalyn Hamili gambled on selling illegal drugs to provide food for her children whose ages are one, three and five years old.
Single mother arrested, jailed
Unfortunately, Hamili, who became one of the few women who went into the illegal drugs business in Cebu City, got arrested even before she could earn big money from illegal drugs.
And she ended up, in a worse situation than she was in before because now she had to serve time in prison and be separated from her family.
This was after Hamili was arrested last Tuesday, July 11, when she got caught by authorities in a buy-bust operation in Sitio Lourdes, Barangay Inayawan, Cebu City.
Some P340,000 worth of suspected shabu was confiscated from Hamili’s possession during the joint operation of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) and Pardo Police Station.
Newly identified drug personality
Leia Alcantara, PDEA-7 spokesperson, said that the operation against Hamili was conducted after a weeklong surveillance operation.
Alcantara described Hamili as a newly identified drug personality in the area.
She also said that Hamili’s sister would now have to take care of Hamili’s three children.
Alcantara said that Hamili was one of the few women in Cebu City who was arrested for engaging in the illegal drugs business.
More men than women
She said that she might not have the exact number of women and men involved in illegal drugs, but she could safely say that more men than women were arrested for engaging in the illegal drugs business.
“Mas daghan lalaki mainvolved sa illegal drugs kay siguro mas kursunada man ang lalaki. Sa women, there is also more stigma if ang babae involved, so usually maglikay or mas discreet, especially if naay drug use problem,” she said.
(There are more men involved in illegal drugs because they are more aggressive. For women, there is also more stigma if the women will be involved (in illegal drugs), so usually they will avoid getting involved in illegal drugs or they will be more discreet about it, especially if they have a drug use problem.)
Why a single mother took the risk
While the PDEA-7 operatives continued to investigate the reason why Hamili chose to take the risk with this kind of job, Alcantara said that many individuals would take on the job because they needed money.
“It’s evident that illegal drugs is a complex problem that involves other social issues, like poverty. Naay uban muingon mapugos sila to sell illegal drugs because wala silay panginabuhian,” she said.
(It’s evident that illegal drugs is a complex problem that involves other social issues, like poverty. There are others who say that they are only forced to sell illegal drugs because they don’t have any means of livelihood.)
Alcantara said that the government had been trying to address this problem by extending continuous efforts to help people improve their livelihood.
“What the government is doing is empowering the communities to assist qualified individuals to find work or develop skills that will help them earn a decent living and, equally important, to address their mindset anang easy money kay naay uban ganahan shortcut without hard work,” said Alcantara.
She also said that for small time drug pushers without previous records, the local government units were enjoined to establish the Balay Silangan Reformation Centers as stated in the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Regulation No. 3.
The purpose of this is to “give them opportunities to become self-reliant and law-abiding citizens.”
The Balay Silangan Reformation Program is an alternative approach initiated by the PDEA where small-time and self-confessed drug offenders are given temporary shelter and necessary intervention to become changed and productive members of society.
While for users of illegal drugs, the government had intensified their treatment and rehabilitation programs to help these users with their drug-use problem, said Alcantara.
As for Hamili, the single mother of three, who was arrested last Tuesday, July 11, during a buy-bust operation, a case of selling illegal drugs had already been filed at the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday, July 12. | with CTU intern Mary Godinez
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