By Arwen Pascua
MANILA — PMGEN VALERIANO T. DE LEON, PNP Director for Operations, reminded all police commanders down to the chiefs of police in the municipalities to continue the aggressive campaign against illegal drugs amid concerns that anti-illegal drug operations will weaken as President Duterte prepares to step down from Malacanang on June 30.
De Leon emphasized that illegal drugs must continue and that the Philippine National Police has developed a new strategy to prevent illegal drug syndicates from having the opportunity to continue their illegal operations.
“Walang humpay at lalo pa natin paigtingin.” We have just developed a new policy for this. Hindi natin hihintuan ang operations laban sa illegal na droga. Walang bitawan. It is our inherent function, “explained De Leon.
De Leon said that the aggressive operations and law enforcement would be backed by an equally aggressive information drive and education campaign aimed at students, who are often the target customers of illegal drug syndicates.
The new policy, according to him, focuses on rehabilitation and reintegration for drug dependents.
Some groups and individuals have expressed concern in recent days about the future of the war on drugs as the end of President Duterte’s administration approaches.
De Leon said that there was no reason to worry that the new government would stop fighting the drug war.
“The new president surely appreciated what President Duterte had started and I am very certain, dahil alam din ng Pangulong Marcos, ang ill effects nito.” He will sustain the gains. “He will even strengthen it at lalo pa tayong supportahan sa kampanya laban sa droga,” said De Leon.
Since July 2016, the crime rate across the country has significantly decreased because of the aggressive campaign against illegal drugs.
He stated that this trend of peace and order must continue, especially because the national government wishes to concentrate more on the recovery from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Lalo pa natin paigtingin ito para sa ganun ay makapag-concentrate ang bagong administrasyon sa mas magandang Pilipinas habang tayo naman ay mag focus ng energies sa peace and order at lalong lalo na itong salot ng lipunan ng drugs na yan,” said De Leon.
De Leon also backed the assertion of PNP OIC PLTGEN VICENTE DANAO JR. that only a small number of police officers are involved with illegal drugs.
“This is an isolated case.” “Our internal policy will not allow it at meron pang criminal charges na ipi-prepare diyan at nakakaawa naman ang pamilya ng taong ito for repeatedly engaging himself diyan sa hindi tamang gawain,” said De Leon.
He underlined, “Lahat ay nabalaan na ng mga naunang liderato hanggang sa ngayon sa pamumuno ng aming PNP OIC PLTGEN DANAO, binalaan na sila and they know the consequences of their action.” (ai/mtvn)