By Tracy Cabrera
The arrested suspects in Barangay Bayan-Bayanan in Malabon City. (Photo: AJ Aruban/Benjamin Charisma)
MANILA — Following the arrest of two drug pushers in Malabon City in a buy-bust operation at Celia II Street in Barangay Bayan-Bayanan and seizure of some P204,000 worth of shabu, senatorial aspirant retired general Guillermo Eleazar lauded operatives of the Malabon Station Drug Enforcement Unit (SDEU) in their unrelenting campaign against illegal drugs, vowing to continue the ‘war on drugs’ but under a more holistic approach.
In an interview, the former Philippine National Police (PNP) expressed his views on the present drug problem in the country, saying that like policies against the Covid-19 pandemic, the government cannot let its guard down against drug addiction and proliferation because if left unabated, it will grow like cancer that would choke the future of younger generations.
“About the drug problem, tayo ay nagkakaisa na talagang holistic approach ito. Ang nakikita lang kasi natin ay ang role ng PNP na parang inaasa sa law enforcement itong supply reduction, na mawala those supplying the drugs. Pero ang point natin doon is demand reduction which is, actually para sa akin, ganoon kaimportante o mas importante pa – itong prevention,” Eleazar pointed out.
The 26th PNP chief and Partido Reporma senatorial bet said he believes that the campaign against illegal drugs should be sustained by the new leaders of the country who would be chosen by the people in next year’s national and local elections.
He, however, acknowledged the lapses in its implementation and suggested that it should be improved: “Tanggap na natin iyan, kailangan natin iyan except in some lapses, sa pagmamalabis na hindi naman natin kinukunsinti.”
To further improve the anti-drug campaign, he said, the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign should also prioritize the rehabilitation of drug users so that they can be transformed and reintegrated back to the community as responsible citizens leading renewed lives.
“Kami nga as lawmakers ay napakagandang tumulong dito. Pero at the end of the day, just like what I have experienced in the PNP, it is in the implementation of the existing policies and programs na nirerevise from time to time to adjust and adapt to the prevailing situation,” he enthused.
“In the aspect of economic development, this is always anchored on peace and security at alam nating lahat na ang masiglang ekonomiya ay nakasalalay sa ligtas at maayos na pamayanan,” he added in conclusion. (ai/mtvn)