PNP takes statement of Duterte on worsening drug problem a challenge

Published March 26, 2019, 11:15 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Aaron Recuenco

Police General Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said yesterday that the 190,000-strong police force will not give up in the campaign against illegal drugs amid the declaration of President Duterte that the illegal drugs problem has worsened.

PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde (center) (KEVIN ESPIRITU / MANILA BULLETIN)
PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde (center) during a press briefing in Camp Crame, Quezon City, January 7, 2019.

In fact, Albayalde said they see the President’s statement as more of a challenge for them to do more in order to lick the illegal drug problems in the country.

“We look at it as a challenge. We will never surrender on this (campaign against illegal drugs,” said Albayalde.

The official said that the President may have just blurted out his emotion over his disappointment on the continuous flow of illegal drugs in the country despite the efforts of the government.

It was recalled that President Duterte had promised to end illegal drugs problem in the country within first three to six months of his term of office.

What the government has referred to as war on drugs have already claimed the lives of more than 5,000 suspected drug pushers and users, including some ‘collateral damage’ or innocent civilians who died in the crossfire, some of them are children.

Critics said there are still thousands more who were killed by vigilante groups which were inspired by the bloody drug war.

Despite the bloody campaign, tons of shabu were still found to being smuggled in the country in the past three years—the most controversial were the smuggling of two batches of tons of shabu worth more than P12 billion.

In the same statement, Duterte was quoted saying that the PNP is already in the brink of giving up.

“I cannot possibly read the mind of the President but personally, it’s an emotional frustration that despite of our effort, the whole government approach on illegal drugs, the volume of illegal drugs remains the same,” said Albayalde.

But if there is some consolation, Albayalde said they have consistently reduced the crime rate in the past three years.

“What we know is over the years, this administration continuously improve our peace and order. This goes to show na merong pinupuntahan ang war on drugs because of improvement ng peace and order,” said Albayalde.

Asked on how the PNP could do better, Albayalde said it needs modernization of the operational capability of the PNP and other law enforcement agencies and improvement of operations of other agencies like the Coast Guard, Bureau of Customs.