UNITEAM senatorial candidate Harry Roque has urged the next administration to sustain the Duterte government’s drug control accomplishments, which have cleared 24,303 barangays and helped lower the crime rate by 73.7 percent since 2016.
The former presidential spokesman said the government’s no-nonsense war against illegal drugs and criminality stabilized public safety and order in most communities nationwide.
“The incoming national leaders should reinforce the ongoing campaign to bring down the demand for and abuse of illegal drugs,” Roque said.
“They must ensure that we have drug-free schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods.”
Roque commended the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) for curbing the illegal drug trade from the time President Duterte took office.
From July 2016 to January 2022, law enforcers seized P75.3 billion worth of drugs, chemicals, and equipment, according to PDEA. They have arrested 327,039 individuals, including 14,389 high-value targets.
The DILG reported that the national crime incidence dropped from 131,699 in 2016 to only 34,552 in 2021.
The former party-list congressman cited that 11,129 barangays are still affected by illegal drugs. He was also deeply concerned that the youngest among 4,170 children rescued in anti-drug operations was four.
“The drug problem remains the greatest threat to young Filipinos. We need an inter-agency and multi-sectoral approach to consistently communicate the message that drugs are dangerous for the youth,” he said.
If elected to the Senate, Roque would propose the “Drugs Demand Reduction Act,” which implements a targeted substance abuse prevention program, protection for neighborhoods and schools, and a national drug control strategy.