Mario Fetalino

Robust global response against terrorism

May 15, 2024 Mario Fetalino Jr. 86 views

THE Philippines is a very tiny country. But lately, the world is paying attention to the Filipino nation as it plays the role of David against a goliath in the West Philippine Sea.

Filipinos are displaying incredible courage in preserving peace in the contested waters while keeping a close watch on a bigger state intent on violating the country’s sovereign rights.

Lately, the Philippines is much more becoming the ‘bigger’ nation as it assured the world of support in its battle against terrorism.

Under the leadership of President Marcos, the Philippines remains resolute in the fight against terrorism and preventing and countering violent extremism.

Such pledges were made by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. when he delivered his speech during the 33rd Session of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna, Austria.

In dealing with terrorism, Abalos said the Philippines is calling for global cooperation. “We recognize the urgent need for a robust international response to effectively address the challenge,” Abalos said.

“We believe that comprehensive and enhanced collaborative approaches and efforts are needed to disrupt terrorist financial networks, recruitment, and movement,” he added.

Abalos said the Marcos government seeks strengthened information-sharing mechanisms between law enforcement agencies, as well as regional and international cooperation and collaboration in combating terrorism.

Aside from terrorism, the administration of President Marcos can also be relied upon on boosting international efforts to counter illegal drugs.

The supply and demand reduction strategy of President Marcos Jr.’s anti-illegal drugs campaign has greatly improved the Philippine’s fight against prohibited narcotics.

Recognizing the administration’s successful campaign against illegal drugs, Abalos said the supply reduction efforts have seized around $587 million in prohibited narcotics in the first two years.

He said the figure is 700 percent increase from previous years, noting the improvement was achieved “with minimal loss of life.”

“It has likewise acknowledged the importance of demand reduction by implementing the value of life, avoid drugs BIDA Project,” he said.

Because of the project, the Philippines has seen a significant decrease in drug related cases as the government upholds the importance of holistic crime prevention approaches rooted in community engagement and wellness.

Abalos also said the administration of President Marcos has committed to enhance the criminal justice system and crime prevention strategies in the Philippines to foster peace, harmony and a rules-based order through international cooperation.

He said the Philippine government remains committed to multi-lateralism as fully expressed in its bid to a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council for 2027-2028.

“Once elected, we will serve our duty with a deep dedication to a peaceful, just and equitable international order that is key to the flourishing of each of our nation’s aspiration for our peoples,” Abalos said during the session.

To effectively implement those goals, Abalos said the government continues to take significant steps to enhance the criminal justice processes, which include the introduction of the “reasonable certainty of conviction” standard by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in pursuing criminal cases.

He said the government has also empowered the country’s prosecutors and other law enforcement agencies particularly on its active participation in investigation and the build-up of cases before they are lodged before courts.

He said they are also told to enhance its cooperation with law enforcement agents.

The Philippine government is also committed to eradicating human trafficking and human smuggling as they gravely violate human rights and an affront to the dignity of all.

Abalos said the Philippines actively implements various programs in the prevention of trafficking, protection of victims, prosecution of offenders, and partnerships with different national, regional, and international organizations.

“We have strengthened information sharing exchange on measures to reduce women’s and children’s vulnerability to trafficking in persons, and further strengthened regional and international cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases, including through direct channels of communication and intelligence exchange,” he said.

Before concluding his speech, Abalos said the Philippine government is concerned about the rapid increase of cybercrime, including online scams, data breaches, and cyberattacks.

“We recognize the importance of a safe and secure cyberspace for our citizens and businesses, and we are committed to combating cybercrime without hindering the freedom of expression or online innovation. We call for a robust anti-corruption frameworks with strong legal and institutional safeguards by promoting public institutions’ transparency and accountability and fostering a culture of integrity within society,” he said.

Abalos emphasized that a united global front is essential to effectively combat transnational crime, corruption, and terrorism in all forms and manifestations.

He stressed that a safer and more just world for all will be created by fostering international cooperation, providing technical assistance, and strengthening legal frameworks.

Go Philippines!

**

For comments, please call or text 09569012811 or email [email protected]

AUTHOR PROFILE