By Aaron Recuenco
For senatorial candidate Mar Roxas, the closeness of the Duterte administration to China should be taken advantage of in order to prevent the entry of illegal drugs to the Philippines.
“Ipinagmamalaki ng kasalukuyang gobyerno ang malapit na relasyon nila sa Tsina. Pero alam naman natin based on intelligence reports na ang kemikal na basic sa paghalo para makagawa ng droga ay nagmumula sa Tsina,” said Roxas.
“Kung talagang magkaibigan, kausapin nila ang Tsina na hulihin niyo diyan. Huwag niyong paalisin ang kemikal na ito na dinadala sa atin,” he added.
President Duterte is known for his tough stand against illegal drugs. He initiated a crackdown on all those involved in the illegal drugs trade when he assumed the top post of the land in July 2016.
More than 5,000 suspected drug pushers and users have been killed in legitimate police operations, while thousands more are believed to have been executed by vigilante groups which were allegedly inspired by the war on drugs.
On the other hand, a number of policemen have also been killed or arrested for involvement in the illegal drugs trade.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has been saying that the war on drugs has contributed to the decline of the crime rate in the country amid criticisms on the human rights issues.
But Roxas said that the anti-drugs operations should also focus on the big players of illegal drugs trade in the country.
“Parang palengke ‘yan eh. May retail, may wholesale. Parating pinarurusahan natin yung retail, yung maliliit, naka-tsinelas. Pero lahat ng binebenta, may pinagmumulan yan,” said Roxas.
“Gamitin natin yung kapangyarihan ng gobyerno – intelligence funds lahat po, para sa surveillance, doon tayo tumutok. Dahil yun ang mas malaking krimen, ginagawa nilang negosyo yung pagsira ng buhay ng ating kabataan,” he added.
Roxas, who focused his campaign on the economy, lost to Duterte, who in turn, had vowed to cleanse the country with illegal drugs in three to six months.
The President, however, admitted later that he was also surprised of the magnitude of illegal drugs trade in the country, the reason why the war on drugs was not won within the first three to six months of his turn.