By Junex Doronio
November 26, 2022
MANILA — Showing the effectiveness of the campaign against drug menace “with a twist,” the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) bared that since President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. assumed office in July, some 22,646 drug personalities were arrested in 18,505 anti-illegal drug operations conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) nationwide and about P9.7 billion worth of various illegal drugs confiscated.
This was in contrast to the “bloody drug war” during the term of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte that local and international human rights groups have claimed that as many as 30,000 were killed in 2019 alone.
“The war on drugs will continue but we have to do it in a different way,” Marcos said in an interview with vlogger and celebrity Toni Gonzaga aired over All TV last September.
On Saturday, November 26, the national government officially launched its anti-illegal drugs advocacy program dubbed as Buhay Ay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan (BIDA), described as an intensified and more holistic campaign.
DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos said the BIDA program aims to address the drug problem from its roots.
“Kung mayroon kang isang puno, [at] ang punong ito ay gusto mong tanggalin ang sanga, gusto mong tanggalin ang puno, putol ka nang putol ng sanga. Pero ang sanga, tubo nang tubo. Kung gusto mong tanggalin ang puno, ugatin mo, ugatin mo ‘yung puno,” Abalos said during the national launch at the Quezon Memorial Circle.
He added that the BIDA program will involve local government units, national government agencies, and other key sectors of society aside from drug enforcement agencies including the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and others in aiming for drug demand reduction and rehabilitation in communities. (ai/mtvn)