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Pres. Marcos fights illegal drugs thru holistic efforts

QUEZON CITY (PIA) -- President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has pledged to take a holistic approach to the war on drugs in the Philippines. In an interview with the press, he vowed to build a strong case against any Philippine National Police (PNP) officials found to be working with drug traffickers.

The President emphasized his government’s efforts to clean up the ranks of the PNP, stating that the drug problem would not exist without the involvement of police officials.

“Kailangan natin tingnan nang mabuti sino ba talaga ang kasabwat diyan, sino ba talaga ang involved, at sino’ng hindi na talaga pwedeng mag-serbisyo dahil associated na sila sa mga drug lord,” the President said.

Responding to criticisms of his administration's approach, Marcos stated that the PNP has not yet filed any cases, and the government is still in the initial phase of organizing a commission to review the background of police officials. The commission will examine the records of all officers as the administration slowly reinstates those who are cleared of any drug links and builds cases against those found to be involved in the drug trade.

Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. has requested that all police officials from the rank of full colonel up to generals submit their courtesy resignation as part of the government’s efforts to win back the trust and confidence of the people in the PNP and the fight against illegal drugs.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) reported that the government’s intensified anti-narcotics campaign has resulted in the seizure of some P30.9 billion worth of illegal drugs in 2022. In addition to the multi-billion worth of drugs seized by law enforcement agencies, the PDEA also destroyed some P27.8 billion worth of drugs, controlled precursors, and essential chemicals (CPECS).

To reduce demand for illegal drugs, the PDEA conducted 257,588 Preventive Education and Community Involvement (PECI) activities and established 111 Balay Silangan Reformation Centers, producing around 2,000 graduates and employing 894 individuals.

More than 300,000 Persons Who Use Drugs (PWUDs) in drug-cleared barangays underwent community-based drug rehabilitation programs, while 67,045 PWUDs were given intervention programs.

The PDEA reported that among the commonly used drugs are methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu,” marijuana, and methylenedioxymethamphetamine or “ecstasy,” with the majority of those arrested last year involved in shabu-related cases. Syndicates are exploiting the country’s archipelagic nature, transporting illegal drugs and controlled precursors and essential chemicals through seaports, airports, mail and parcel services, and the vast expanse of the Philippine coastlines.

The PDEA is strengthening the implementation of its anti-illegal drugs strategies, focusing on suppressing supply by intensifying the conduct of intelligence-driven and high-impact operations, arresting top-level drug personalities, enhancing inter-agency collaboration, and strengthening efforts in drug entry points to deter smuggling.

PDEA is also working for drug demand reduction by conducting National Anti-Drug Advocacy Campaign, forging close coordination with Anti-Drug Abuse Councils, supporting community-based drug rehabilitation programs, and intensifying information dissemination to promote a stigma-free campaign and to assist PWUDs.

While acknowledging that his predecessor Rodrigo Duterte has focused on the enforcement side, Marcos said he wants a holistic approach in dealing with the drug menace.
“And let us also look at prevention. Let us — education to our young people to say that you know this is a dead end. This will get you absolutely nowhere. It will get you in jail. It will get you killed. And even if it does not do that, this will take away your future. And second part of that is cure. To be more sensitive and more sympathetic to those who actually have gotten caught up in this lifestyle. And so that is something that we are now promoting. We are trying to learn which are the best methods now to pull our victims… pull them out of that culture and to help them start again and do live a good life as good and constructive members — contributing members of society,” the President said.

Marcos, however, said a relentless crackdown on high-value targets and big-time suspects will continue.

About the Author

Kate Shiene Austria

Information Officer III

Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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