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Palace claims victory in Part 1 of campaign

The “first phase” of the government’s war on drugs has been successful following the surrender of thousands of drug dependents and the public naming of government officials allegedly involved in the drug trade, Malacañang said yesterday.

Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Martin Andanar said they would go into the “second phase” of the drug campaign that will be announced soon by the President.

“Ang pangako ng ating Pangulong Duterte, ay ito ay malinis, within three to six months, mga 70 to 80 percent, ay malinis na ito,” Andanar said over government radio.

“Kung makikita po natin ‘yung first phase ng laban kontra droga ay nagwagi na ho tayo, ‘yung first phase po ito. Ito ‘yung susumahin natin ‘yung mahigit 700,000 na sumurender or who turned themselves in para magpa-rehabilitate ‘no,” he added.

Part of the victorious first phase, Andanar said, is the President’s revelation of the drug matrix showing the alleged involvement of politicians and other personalities in the alleged drug operations inside the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

“Kung titingnan po natin ‘yung mga nabanggit na mga pangalan, ‘yung mga big time, ‘yung mga nasa top echelons of society, na nabanggit po sa drug matrix ay ito’y maituturing na tagumpay na first phase,” he said.

After the successful first phase, Andanar said the President is expected to explain the details of the Phase 2 of the government anti-drug efforts.

The government is determined to file charges against persons implicated in the Bilibid drug trade if evidence warrants. There is, however, no timetable on the filing of the complaints.

“Wala hong timeline ano. Basta as soon as possible kapag nakitaan po ng kumpletong, talagang prima facie evidence, at kung hindi po nakapagsumite ng counter-affidavit ‘yung persons of interest ng Philippine National Police, PDEA, at ng DoJ, then kakasuhan,” Andanar said.

The establishment of rehabilitation of centers inside military camps will also be pursued to help drug dependents, according to Andanar.

But the Palace official admitted that not all drug addicts could be totally rehabilitated since deadly chemicals have already fried their brains. He said since drug addiction is a “chronic disorder,” it might take “a lifetime to take care of these patients because it’s medical issue.”

“When you say lifetime, ibig sabihin, it’s like saying, it’s tantamount to saying that, only 23 percent can really recover totally at napaka-mababaw ng porsyento ng recovery,” he said. (GENALYN D. KABILING)