Lawmakers and law enforcement want a ‘community’ campaign against drugs


MANILA, Philippines — Law enforcement has urged the Senate to pass legislation institutionalizing the Duterte administration’s “war on drugs” barangay drug elimination agenda, saying a “pan-national approach “Similar to the counter-insurgency campaign would help end the drug problem in the country.

At Tuesday’s organizational meeting of the Senate Panel on Law and Order and Dangerous Drugs, pro-drug war lawmakers urged the national government to address what they called root causes. of drug use.

Neophyte Senator Robin Padilla called it a “painful fact” that even local government units are involved in bringing illegal drugs into the country, as he called for more “community-based” responses to the drug problem in the country. country.

“Hindi naman makakalanding sa dagat kahit saan kung walang will signal the local government,” he claimed, saying that only the communities would know who the dealers and addicts were in their regions and localities.

(Drugs will not land in any of our waters without the go signal from the local government)

“They are big unions. If we compare your budget to theirs, maybe yours would only be a quarter of theirs,” he said, speaking to the Philippine Anti-Corruption Agency. dope.

According to figures from Real Numbers PH, the Duterte administration’s “unitary report” on drug war gains, more than 10,000 barangays remained to be rid of illegal drugs by the time Duterte resigned from office in late June.

PDEA chief executive Wilkins Villanueva told the Senate panel on Tuesday that the number now stands at 9,693 drug-affected barangays across the country.

Real Numbers, which aggregates data from the Philippine National Police, the Dangerous Drugs Board and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, also recognized 6,252 “those who died during anti-drug operations”.

The PNP has routinely attributed deaths to “nanlaban” stories, saying drug suspects violently resisted arrest and forced officers to act in self-defense. The Department of Justice is reviewing drug operations that have resulted in deaths and irregularities have led to some cases in court.

RELATED: DOJ: Four of PNP’s 52 Deadly ‘War on Drugs’ Cases Now in Court

Senator Raffy Tulfo, during Tuesday’s hearing, said the police were prone to abuse their power, pointing to reports he received when he was a television personality that the police violated their standard operating procedures when making traffic accident arrests.

“Now the police immediately arrest the suspect or whoever they think is the suspect. They even hit the suspects on the back of the neck,” he said in a mixture of Filipino and English.

Senator Ronald dela Rosa, himself a former head of the PNP, said body-worn cameras to be used by all officers in the field would provide greater transparency in operations going forward.

Legal aid for cops, death penalty for drug dealers

Listed on the PNP’s priority legislative agenda was free legal assistance for uniformed personnel.

As a reminder, former President Rodrigo Duterte, in his last State of the Nation Address, introduced a bill to Congress that will provide free legal aid to military and cops accused of actions committed in the exercise of their functions.

In the 19th Congress, this same bill was introduced by Speaker of the House Martin Romualdez (Leyte) and Deputy Principal Majority Leader Sandro Marcos (Ilocos Norte) as Bill 8, pending with the House Justice Committee.

The PNP has also asked lawmakers to consider establishing independent police tribunals that will handle all civil and criminal cases involving PNP personnel.

As it currently stands, Republic Act No. 10660 gives the Sandiganbayan exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving PNP officials holding the position of provincial director and those with the ranks of colonel and above.

Republic Act No. 6975 also provides for the establishment of a People’s Law Enforcement Council in municipalities and local government units that has jurisdiction to hear and decide citizen complaints or cases brought before it against law enforcement officials. culprits and members of the PNP.

Other laws to note in the presentation of the PNP include:

  1. Provide for the reorganization and resizing of the Philippine National Police
  2. Changes to Education Requirements for PCP Candidates
  3. Institute the revitalized barangay police force of the PNP
  4. Educational assistance for dependents of PNP members killed in the line of duty

PDEA Director General Villanueva also supported the reimposition of the death penalty for drug trafficking.

“The death penalty will send a clear message about the seriousness of the government’s campaign to end the threat posed by dangerous drugs. It should not, however, be seen as a tool to reduce the prospects of rehabilitation for users and street vendors,” he said. in his presentation.

“The ultimate goal is to take on the big drug traffickers, coddlers, financiers and protectors and immediately end the supply, demand and harm of dangerous drugs in society.”

Murders continue amid talk of tackling ‘root causes’ of drug use

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said his department will continue the Duterte administration’s “war on drugs” but with a new approach.

However, according to Dahas, a tally of reported drug-related killings in the Philippines and maintained by the Center for Third World Studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman, the killings continue to this day, more than a month after that Duterte resigned from public service. Desk.

During the week of August 1-7, the fifth week of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration, the project documented seven drug-related killings, including five in Cebu.

The Kabataan party list, in a separate statement, called for justice for Kian Delos Santos and all other victims of former President Duterte’s “fake and bloody war on drugs”, especially young people.

“We will not forget Kian’s last words as he was mercilessly shot and killed by police officers. No one should have to beg a police officer to let him take the exam the next day,” said Rep. Raoul Manuel ( Kabataan) in a mixed Filipino and Filipino language. English.

“Many lives and dreams have been killed by Duterte’s fake war on drugs. Now that he is no longer president, this should be investigated and Duterte and his accomplices should be held accountable for the blood they shed,” he also said.

“Above all, we must be clear that cracking down on the drug problem is based on respecting and promoting human rights, not violating them.” — Franco Luna

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