Ex-PDEA director general recommends a more effective anti-drug campaign

UNTV News   •   June 22, 2017   •   7323

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_062117_Dionisio Santiago

MANILA — Former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Dionisio Santiago considers  the first year of the Duterte Administration’s anti-drug campaign a success.

Despite this, Santiago believes what still needs to be improved is its implementation.

“We have to re-engineer this anti-drug campaign eh. The success of the Tokhang has limitations,” Santiago said.

According to the former PDEA official, to make the campaign more effective, there is a need to adjust its approach based on the root cause of the problem which is poverty.

“I consider the campaign successful because many are now afraid, and many are changing. But still, others still return. When you go back you’ll have no livelihood again, and you’ll have no income. So, you have to work on it,” Santiago said.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR), meanwhile, insists the implementation of any anti-illegal drug campaign should adhere to the law.

CHR also clarifies it is never against the aim to eradicate the use of illegal drugs.

“We have to ensure that the continuation of the campaign does not result into any more deaths. If it does contribute to the eradication of drugs, then that is something that we need to sustain in terms of ensuring that RA 9165 is continued to be implemented,” CHR Spokesperson Atty. Jackie De Guia said. – Leslie Longboen | UNTV News and Rescue

Lacson, Sotto test negative for illegal drugs

Maris Federez   •   November 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson and running mate Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday (November 22) underwent voluntary drug testing at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) office in Diliman, Quezon City, and tested negative for drug use, a statement from the Partido Reporma said.

Earlier in the day, Sotto said: “Magkaalaman na kung sino matatapang”.

The Lacson-Sotto tandem said their move was to show that they are drug-free and fit to run in the 2022 national and local elections.

Sotto earlier said that ordinary drug tests only determine “shabu” or  “marijuana” use.

However, the PDEA test that they took, he said, is a ‘’multi-drug one-step immunometric assay for the detection of drugs of abuse in urine.’’

In the statement, Lacson said he and Sotto took a multi-drug screening procedure, which is capable of detecting all types of illegal substances in a human body. They both tested negative for illegal drugs.

The tandem went through all the protocols from the signing up of forms to the submission of their urine samples where an attending physician monitored them closely to ensure the authenticity of the tests.

Last Friday, Lacson suggested Friday conducting a random drug test to candidates following President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement on an unnamed presidential candidate who was into cocaine.

“I have never been addicted to drugs all my life, so I have no problem with that. In fact, we should all undergo random testing to make it more credible,” he said.

Meanwhile, in an ambush interview in General Santos City, Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go who is also running for president, reiterated that, although it is not mandatory, he is willing to undergo drug testing any time of the day.

“Ako naman po willing magpa-drug test anytime of the day. Anytime po kung kakailanganin,” Go said.

“Though hindi mandatory, pero just to prove lang po sa Pilipino kung sino yung fit na mamuno sa ating bansa ay willing po akong magpa-drug test, any time of the day po,” he added. —/mbmf

PNP, patuloy na nakikipagtulungan sa imbestigasyon sa mga operasyon kontra iligal na droga

Maris Federez   •   November 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Nagbigay pahayag ang Philippine National Police (PNP) kaugnay ng ulat ng Commission on Human Rights (CHR) sa programa ng pulisya kontra iligal na droga.

Ayon kay PNP chief PGen. Guillermo Eleazar, ang naturang mga drug operation din ang kasulukuyang iniimbestigahan ng Department of Justice kung saan nakikipagtulungan na ang pambansang pulisya.

Nais din aniyang malaman ng PNP ang katotohanan sa ilang kwenstiyunableng operasyon ng mga pulis kung saan namatay ang mga drug suspect.

“We in the Philippine National Police would also want to know the truth because these allegations of human rights and extra-judicial killings that have been hounding us in more than five years have resulted in a sweeping generalization that all our operations against illegal drugs are tainted with abuses,” ani Eleazar.

Binigyang diin din ng opisyal na marami ring namatay na alagad ng batas sa pagtupad ng kanilang tungkulin na sugpuin ang mga nagpapakalat ng mga iligal ng droga.

“This is unfair to a number of our operatives who died and were wounded in the conduct of operations and this grossly ignores the fact that the efforts and sacrifices of our men on the ground have resulted in the unprecedented reduction of index crimes across the country,” ani pa ng pinuno ng pulisya.

Base sa resulta ng pag-iimbestiga ng CHR, mula sa bilang na 466 na suspek na umanoy nanlaban sa mga otoridad, 11 lamang ang nakaligtas.

Ayon pa sa CHR, nasa 87 sa mga napaslang ang nagtamo ng maraming tama ng bala sa ibat ibang bahagi ng katawan. —/mbmf (mula sa ulat ni UNTV Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Presidential, VP aspirants OK with mandatory drug testing

Maris Federez   •   October 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines [UPDATE] — Several presidential and vice-presidential aspirants for the 2022 national elections agree on the proposition of mandatory drug testing of candidates.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said this will determine whether there are candidates who use illegal drugs or are drug dependents.

He said campaigning against illegal drugs is an act of futility if the president himself uses illegal drugs.

“Dapat lang. Eh baka mamaya, may adik. May adik na kandidato. Can you imagine ‘pag may adik na presidente?” Moreno said.

“I mean, let’s be honest to ourselves. How can we go and campaign against drugs even the President eh nag-da-drugs? Hindi, ‘di ba? We have to. Why not? Ako, OK ako. Call ako,” he added.

Senator Manny Pacquiao also expressed his agreement, stressing that drug testing must be done simultaneously among candidates.

“Agree ako dapat pakita natin na malinis tayo. At bago start ng campaign ay sabay-sabay na padrug test kami lahat,” Pacquiao said.

Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa, in agreement, also said that that the testing must be done among all candidates.

“Agree ako sa suggestion na magkakaroon ng mandatory drug test lahat ng presidential candidates,” he said.

Senator Bato explained that if security officers are being required to undergo drug testing, presidential candidates are no exemption.

“Dapat lang! Yung security guard nga na nagbabantay lang ng isang establisimento ay required na magpa-drug test, iyon pang presidente na magbabantay at mangungulo ng buong bansa exempted sa drug test? Unfair noh?” he pointed out.

Vice President Leni Robredo also welcome the proposal to include mandatory drug testing among the requirements to all candidates.

Robredo said this will assure that candidates start with a clean slate.

“Ako, ready ako anytime. Hindi sa’kin problema ‘yon. Sa’kin, kung ire-require ‘yon, OK, lalo na dahil maraming mga kwento na ito ay lulong sa ganito. Mas mabuti na clean slate kami. So ako, anytime,” she said.

Even presidential candidate Senator Panfilo Lacson sees no problem in going through mandatory drug testing.

“I have never been addicted to drugs all my life, so I have no problem with that,” he said.

Lacson stressed that the testing must be done at random to ensure its credibility.

“In fact, we should all undergo random testing to make it more credible. I understand drug toxins may dissipate after 72 hours,” he added.

Presidential aspirant Ka Leody de Guzman also expressed willingness to undergo mandatory drug testing.

He, however, underscored that candidates must rather focus on the real issues the country is facing.

“Tanong ko lang kay Mayor Isko, kung mayroon ba siyang nakikita sa mga nagfile ng pagkapresidente na meron doon na adik? O yan ay paglilihis lamang dun sa mga tunay usapin? Kagaya ng problema ng tuloy-tuloy na pagtaas ng presyo ng gasolina, tuloy-tuloy na pagtaas ng presyo ng kuryente, yung matagal nang hinihingi, na problema ng mga health workers na proteksyon sa kanilang pagtatrabaho?” De Guzman said.

“Magfocus tayo doon sa isyu ng bayan, sa isyu ng masa, sa isyu ng ating mga kamanggagawa. Hindi yung magke-create ng mga usapin na di ko malaman kung saan hinuhugot,” he further said.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, a vice-presidential aspirant, said he has earlier included mandatory drug testing among those who will run for public office as one of the provisions of the Dangerous Act of 2002 which he wrote.

The Supreme Court (SC), however, declared the provision unconstitutional in 2008.

“I placed that in the law I authored, RA 9165, the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.  [The] SC shot it down as unconstitutional.  I do it voluntarily instead, every election,” Sotto said.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, on the other hand, no one can compel any candidates to go through mandatory drug testing as it is not backed by any law.

“Pero I am not aware of any law that requires it. So, I think beyond voluntary compliance ay hindi naman po natin pupuwedeng i-prescribe iyan kasi wala pong ibang kuwalipikasyon na nakasaad sa Saligang Batas para maging kandidato kung hindi ikaw ay Pilipino at of a certain age,” Roque said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

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