Next administration should have same strong anti-drug drive as Duterte gov’t — solon

July 12, 2021 Jester P. Manalastas 217 views

AN advocate of the anti-drug campaign, Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez dared the next administration to have a strong anti-illegal drugs program to sustain the gains that the present government has achieved.

In a statement, Torres-Gomez underscored the need to sustain the advances made by the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the fight against prohibited drugs to ensure the long-term impact of their efforts.

The lady solon commended the PNP, PDEA and other law enforcement agencies in their campaign to neutralize high-level drug syndicates and pull the plug on their continued operations.

“The next administration must similarly have a strong anti-illegal drugs program to continue the accomplishments made by the present administration.

“We cannot give up our fight to stop the thriving drugs industry, or else the lives and sacrifices of our men in uniform would all be for nothing. We have to honor their sacrifices by continuing their vision of having a drug-free Philippines,” Torres-Gomez said.

Citing the experience in Ormoc City, part of the district where Torres-Gomez is a representative, she pointed out that the campaign, though, should be less intimidating and violent and resolutely ensure the protection of human rights, especially the rights of accused individuals.

Years ago, Ormoc City was tagged as the drug capital of Eastern Visayas.

“In 2016, when the new administration in the city of Ormoc took over, a no-nonsense anti-illegal drugs campaign was launched. 110 barangay-police Anti-Drug Abuse Councils were created to coordinate and carry out the city hall’s drug rehabilitation program.

“A total of 58 buy-bust operations were conducted, which resulted in the arrest of 64 notorious drug dealers, pushers and users. Likewise, the local leadership launched the ‘Pulis Niyo Po sa Barangay’ program, which augmented police visibility in barangays,” she said.

Ormoc City was subsequently named the safest city in the country in 2018 and 2019 by the PNP Crime Research and Analysis Center.

It remains drug-free until today.

“The next administration could look at how Ormoc City was transformed from being a notorious drug haven into a drug-free metropolis. If the government sustains the anti-illegal drugs campaign, we can look forward to having more rehabilitated cities where residents feel safe, even during late nights, because they know they will not fall prey to the horrors that drug addicts inflict on their victims,” Torres-Gomez also said.