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The real war against illegal drugs is on.
It is undeniable that the “Duterte factor” caused the surrender of thousands of illegal drug users and pushers even before President Rodrigo Duterte formally assumed office last June 30, 2016. When it became clear that the former Mayor of Davao City has been elected President of the Philippines, the state of illegal drug use and trade in the country has changed.
The situation in the City of Manila, particularly the refusal of many barangay officials to provide the Philippine National Police (PNP) the list of known and suspected drug users and pushers, generally illustrates the pre-Duterte state of illegal drug use and trade in our country.
The problem of illegal drug use and trade in the Philippines worsened because the government failed to govern.
Barangay officials in Manila hesitated to provide PNP the list of users and pushers of illegal drugs because they are not sure if the ones who will receive list are genuine “enforcers” of the law or they are themselves involved in the illegal drug use or trade. The concerned barangay officials were also not sure how the PNP will treat those in the list. The pre-Duterte state is one characterized by weak law enforcement at best and of rouge law enforcers in many cases.
They also refused to make and give the list because of fear for their and their families’ life and safety. They fear that those in the list, if not those who belong to the illegal drug syndicates, will get back at them for reporting them. The pre-Duterte state is one characterized by a government fearing criminals and not the other around as should be. It is also characterized by lawless elements having their way.
Now that President Duterte is already in office, the state of illegal drug use and trade in our country will undoubtedly change. The President’s uncompromising stand against illegal drugs and his fearless conviction to serve the Filipino people by getting rid of illegal drugs are key to this change.
The “sudden” impressive performance of law enforcers in going after illegal drug users and pushers is expected to continue because they know that the President will settle for nothing less.
The surrender of illegal drug users and pushers is also expected to continue because they know that the current Administration is serious in governing, i.e. stopping their illegal activities.
Indeed, the real government’s war against illegal drugs is on. (Dr. Ramon Ricardo A. Roque, CESOI, Diplomate)