Azurin seeks to improve ‘war on drugs’

August 15, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 110 views

Adding focus to drug rehab

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr., on Monday, said he is pushing for improvements in the government’s “war on drugs” specifically regarding drug rehabilitation patients.

The country’s 28th top cop cited the need to focus on the rehabilitation of drug dependents and turning them into more productive citizens of the country once they are fully treated by providing livelihood programs for them so they could have money to feed their families and not resort back to their old habit.

“On this administration po, we have to study po na… hindi natin sinasabi na mali po yung strategy noon, but we need to study some more, how do we improve our campaign or war on drugs. And it does not only come on the PNP, but it should come from every sector, every concerned member of the community,” the PNP chief said.

According to Azurin, they need all the help they can get from local government units (LGUs), especially barangay authorities, in waging a campaign against illegal drug trafficking and abuse.

“How do you intend to help the police, so that we would know kung sila ba ay tutulong sa atin o ibibigay na lang nila sa ‘tin yung pagbibigay ng solusyon,” he said amid an assurance from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) that it would focus on youth programs and the problems on the grassroots as the Marcos administration further intensify the campaign against drugs.

Azurin said they would also meet Department of Health (DOH) officials to discuss the current administration’s rehabilitation program for drug patients.

“We need to engage the Department of Health. How do we intend to rehabilitate iyon pong gusto na medyo magbagong buhay? And for those who do not have jobs, how do we intend to give them a source of living, so kaya po nilang buhayin ang kanilang pamilya,” he emphasized.

The PNP chief also lauded the former Duterte administration for making Filipinos fully aware of the threats posed by illegal drugs in the country, although he said there is a need to review and recalibrate its implementation.

On Monday, New National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Brig. Gen. Jonnel C. Estomo also took over his post with a vow to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law at all times.

“We will remain steadfast in our fight against criminality, especially against illegal drugs, but as such as we expect our best effort to eliminate crime, we must do so with a high standard for human rights, even of those who criminalize themselves,” Brig. Gen. Estomo, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Tanglaw Diwa” Class of 1992, said.

Azurin earlier assured the country that his order for his men is to ensure that the “rule of law” will be strictly followed as they continue an unrelenting war on illegal drugs in the country.

The country’s 28th top cop said that “crime shall be dealt within the bounds of [the] law, in accordance to human rights” as the 226,000-strong police force continue to cooperate with other agencies as they conceptualize more sustainable operations, particularly when it comes to addressing the illegal drug problem “without fear or favor”.

DILG Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” C. Abalos Jr. also called on the police force to ensure that the “rule of law” will be followed as they continue their all-out war versus drugs.

The DILG chief called on Azurin and his men to ensure that human rights will always be protected as they go after illegal drug traffickers in the country.

However, he said that he will also be ensuring that the rights of policemen who are performing their lawful duties will always be protected by creating a DILG Legal Team that will support the PNP.