There is no letup in the government campaign against illegal drugs, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said, adding that policy changes in the strategy will now focus more on dismantling drug syndicates and strengthening reeducation programs.
“We have taken enforcement as far as we can. Now, it is time to look at actually going after dismantling these syndicates,” Marcos said during a question-and-answer session held at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington.
“Further back to that process is also… the process of reeducation, of explaining especially to our young people what the damage — what the potential damage is to their lives should they be involved in this way, not only as users, not only as addicts, but also as dealers and operators of these syndicates,” he added.
Marcos said he cannot speak in behalf of his predecessor’s anti-drug campaign or “what he had in mind” but acknowledged its rallying point that illegal drugs, “continues to be at the source of many… much criminality in the Philippines.”
“We have [to] try to identify the key areas where we have… to tackle, the key areas that we have to attend to so that we can see a diminution of the activity of the drug syndicates,” Marcos said.
President Marcos said he has organized a commission and asked for the resignation of all the police officers suspected of involvement in the illegal drug trade.
Marcos revealed they have received about 917 resignations from police officers from colonel level.
“And we are now in the process of looking through the records of these officers to see those have had derogatory comments, those that have evidence against them,” he said.
The President earlier vowed to build a strong case against Philippine National Police (PNP) officials involved in the illegal drug trade.
Marcos said it was part of his campaign pledge to carry out a different approach to the country’s drug problem, as he stressed his efforts to clean the ranks of the PNP.
Catherine R. Cueto