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Injustice in Paradise : Filipinas Falsely Accused in Bali, Indonesia

 Image by Destination 360

Yesterday, this blog post, "My Traumatic Experience as an Alleged DRUG TRAFFICKER in Bali Indonesia" made the rounds of the Social Networking websites. The blogging, tweeting, Facebooking and Plurking communities were dissuaded of traveling to Bali because of this injustice done to Chyng Reyes and Dyan Sapaden. Many sympathized with their plight, and a lot were outraged about how the Bali airport officials treated these two.

While it is right to be outraged at the behavior of the officials, there are some things that we should take into consideration:

  1. Some other Filipinos have been caught as drug mules.
  2. A lot of other Filipinos actually use and abuse drugs, thus fueling the drug cartel industry.

I believe that the Bali official should be sacked. For one, what he did seemed to be an act of racial profiling taken to a cruel extreme. While it is highly likely for a pretty woman to be used as a drug mule, he had no excuse to single them out that way. If these two girls' nationality and the fact that they were pretty were the only reasons why he felt justified in giving them a thorough search, then what he did was grave injustice. Surely other nationalities carried drugs more often than we do. Most likely, one of those other nations had been on the same plane with those girls. Why didn't he do a random racial profile on them too?

Also, didn't they have dogs to sniff the bags? Geiger counters, X-Ray machines and things of that sort that would have kept them from harassing these two women?

But that aside, let us face the factors that we have more control over: Some Filipinos caused this to happen. And some Filipinos patronize this industry that caused this to happen.

So as another Filipino citizen, what can you do in your power to stop this from happening?

  1. Never do drugs. Simple as that. That way, you won't be guilty of funding an industry that causes a government to do this to innocent tourists.
  2. Never be a drug mule. What are the chances of you being approached to carry drugs across borders? Slim. But if you were desperate for cash, the likelihood goes up. And if you're the type who has been through desperate financial times before, watch yourself. Don't ever give in to an offer like this. It IS something you can refuse.

Aside from that, the ball is now in the hands of the Philippine government. How should they approach the Balinese government in this situation? That's something that only they could decide on. What I do hope is that when the governments talk, the outcome of their discussion will be fair for both countries. The ball is also in the hands of the Balinese government. If they've read Chyng Reyes' article by now, the right thing to do would be to investigate on the official and sack him if need be.

Here's hoping that this incident will never happen to another Filipino ever again.


For a longer discussion on the matter, view another post on Pinoy Current Issues And Controversies.

Note: Scroll to the bottom of Chyng Reyes' post to read and view updates on their situation. Good to know the Philippine Government did something about it! Take note of GMA's 24 Oras' reminder: Keep the numbers and contact details of the Philippine Embassy in the country you may be visiting. It is handy should crisis situations arise.

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