Abalos vows to sustain gains of the DILG including war on drugs

Abalos vows to sustain gains of the DILG including war on drugs

By Rjhay E. Laurea

DILG Sec. Benhur Abalos

MANILA — On his first day as head of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos, Jr., expressed commitment to sustain the gains attained in the anti-illegal drug campaign; fill up gaps to improve policies in other major programs of the Department; and “bring people power against social ills.”

“Hindi tayo ang pagsisilbihan, tayo ang magsisilbi sa kanilang lahat. [We will not be served, we will be of service to all of you.] It is important right now to continue the things that you [DILG] have done. Napakagaling [Great job]. Sabi nga sa akin [They asked], ‘How about the war on drugs?’ It will be sustained in accordance with the oath I made as provided for in the constitution. Talagang diri-diretso po ito [It will really continue],” Abalos said.

Facing the DILG workforce, Abalos commended the “fantastic job” former DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año has accomplished for the past years while citing best practices in the City of Mandaluyong that can be injected and emulated to improve the Department’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.

“The former DILG Secretary did well in the anti-illegal drugs campaign. Itutuloy lang natin ‘yun [We will just continue it] but we will put greater focus on building up strong cases against illegal drug suspects to ensure that no cases will be dismissed and they will be spending the rest of their lives behind bars,” he said.

“We will involve other concerned government agencies, and most importantly, the communities, to make sure that we have a comprehensive campaign against illegal drugs,” he added.

He mentioned that for most cases, investigations are deterred as there are no witnesses to assist in the cases. He said that in every illegal drug confiscated, there should be at least three witnesses: a representative from the media, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and a barangay official.

He likewise commended Philippine National Police (PNP) Acting Chief PLTGen Vicente Danao, Jr., for the effective mechanisms against illegal drugs but established that in all of society’s problems, “one must go to the roots and target the main source.”

“Maganda ‘yung ginawa ni Gen Danao [Gen. Danao did a good job] and I commend you and the PNP for the war against drugs. Aside from the law enforcement aspect, we should get to the root causes of the anti-illegal drugs problem and address all of these things in collaboration with other agencies of the government and stakeholders — unemployment, education, family, and a host of other issues,” Abalos said.

“The war on drugs is just like a tree. Maski patubuin mo nang patubuin, putulin mo nang putulin ‘yung sanga nito, may tutubong bagong sanga. Ano ‘yung sanga? ‘Yung sanga ay huli tayo nang huli pero may pumapalit nang pumapalit [Even if you germinate it, cut its branches all the time, another branch will just emerge. What are the branches? The branches are, we keep on arresting and arresting suspects yet there are people who will always replace them]” he added.

He likewise put emphasis on sustaining programs and initiatives of the Department that have worked in the past, noting that his administration will put emphasis on ‘servant leadership’.

“We must make sure na institutionalized ang mga ginagawa nating magagandang practices, at innovations [We must make sure we institutionalized all good practices and innovations we perform]. We must likewise always remember this, hindi tayo ang pagsisilbihan, tayo ang magsisilbi sa kanilang lahat dahil bilang lingkod bayan, ang kapakanan ng publiko ang dapat nating prayoridad [we will not be served, as public servants, we will be of service to all of them, the public’s wellfare must be our priority]. That is the kind of attitude that we should have,” Abalos said.

The DILG Chief also committed to working on the provision of firetrucks, prioritizing the fire stations lacking equipment under the Bureau of Fire Protection and improving jail management through the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

He also underscored the importance of participatory and inclusive governance and how it will heavily influence his brand of leadership as the Department’s executive officer as he directed all DILG personnel to let all the local government units (LGUs), the community and other stakeholders get involved in the campaign against illegal drugs.(AI/MTVN)

Leave a Reply