PNP welcomes UN remark on illegal drugs as global concern

PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde Rappler

MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) welcomed the statement of the United Nations (UN) recognizing illegal drugs as a global concern.

“With the United Nations’ recognition, the PNP will be more strengthened to fight the menace of drug syndicates that are continuously affecting our communities,” PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said in a statement Saturday.

He said the campaign is part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s goal of a drug-free and crime-free Philippines.

“With other countries coming together and working collectively in facing this problem, the PNP believes that, in due time, we will win the war against illegal drugs and crime rate will continuously be reduced,” he added.

In an event ahead of the UN General Assembly in September, Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for worldwide action against illegal drug use and trafficking.

He cited the situation as “alarming”, noting that some 31 million people required treatment due to drug use and around 450,000 people die every year from overdose or drug-related health issues.

The PNP earlier said there is still a lot more to be done in the war against illegal drugs, after President Duterte revealed another matrix indicating the involvement of five active and two dismissed police officials in illegal drug activities.

Based on the report dated Septembee 12, 2018, Duterte identified the police officials as retired Senior Superintendents Eduardo Acierto and Leonardo Suan, former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) deputy chief for administration Supt. Ismael Fajardo Jr., Supt. Lorenzo Bacia, Inspectors Lito Pirote and Conrado Caragdag, and Senior Police Officer 4 Alejandro Gerardo Liwanag, who were allegedly tagged in the “enormous” illegal drugs network in the country.

Albayalde said these officers have already been relieved from their positions to give way to a fair investigation.

In September, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, meanwhile, showed more Filipinos are satisfied with the government’s war against illegal drugs.

“We are inspired and challenged by the latest Social Weather Station survey results which show that the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs has the support and approval of 78% of the Filipino people. We are one with the 96% of the Filipino people who recently said that they want drugs suspects to be arrested alive. We are equally tough against those among us who have gone overboard in the discharge of their official functions,” Albayalde said.

Albayalde attributed the successful campaign against illegal drugs to the decrease in violations committed by some police officers on the ground during operations. (PNA)