By Mario Casayuran
Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa Wednesday asked law enforcers to ‘’go the extra mile’’ in their efforts to win the government’s war on the multi-billion-peso illegal drugs trade.
Dela Rosa, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, however, reminded them to always put God first in all the anti-illegal drugs operations they embark on to ensure the preservation of the precious life of every individual.
Speaking before the officials, employees and guests at the Dangerous Drugs Board’s (DDB) culminating event for the Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week 2019 in Quezon City, Dela Rosa issued the call to encourage the anti-illegal drugs operatives to work united with other agencies and work even harder to save more lives from the evils of the illegal substance.
Dela Rosa also underscored the crucial role of the people in efforts to win the ‘’drug war.’’
“Paigtingin pa natin ang ating pagtutulungan (We should strengthen our bond of helping one another), we have enough government agencies addressing the drug problem, but what matters most is the support and cooperation of every member of the community.
What will help us win this war is our united and strong front against illegal drugs,” Dela Rosa said.
Dela Rosa said law enforcers must put God at the center in all their lawful activities because critics always portray them as killers.
‘’Ipakita natin na tayo ay maka-Diyos, makatao (Let us show them we are God-fearing, pro-people citizens),” he added.
The neophyte senator stressed the important role of the local government units (LGUs) in the drug campaign.
Dela Rosa said the role of local government units (LGUs) in the war against drugs was very crucial.
He said any person installed as chief of the PNP or the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) would be bound to fail in the drug war if there was no cooperation at the lower level.
He said that since the launch of his brainchild “Toktok Hangyo”, (knock and plead) which was later called “Tokhang,” a considerable number of drug dependents have already surrendered and receded from using the illegal substance.
The former drug dependents were brought back to their families as productive individuals, he pointed out.
Dela Rosa said critics should stop fooling the people by claiming that the President’s war on drugs is a failure.
‘’What are the critics’ standards? Is it based in Europe? the United States? Colombia? As far as the Philippines is concerned, the approval rating is 82 percent. So, don’t fool the people, give them the real numbers,’’ he said.
‘’There is no perfect anti-illegal drugs campaign,’’ he added.
“With all honesty masasabi natin na yung ating (we can say our) war on drugs is not perfect… talagang hindi perfect. Bigyan mo ako ng isang bansa, pinakamagaling na bansa na perfect yung kanilang war on drugs,” Dela Rosa said. (Give me a ‘’very good’’ country that has a perfect rating in the fight against illegal drugs.)
Dela Rosa, meanwhile, assured his continued support to all the government’s efforts to ensure victory against the illegal drugs.
“I may no longer be at the frontlines in the war on drugs but I am making sure that I remain at the frontlines in legislative efforts to help put an end to the illegal drug problem in the country,” Dela Rosa said.
He also cited his priority bills relating to drugs, particularly death penalty for drug traffickers under Senate Bill no. 226, inclusion of drug education in the K12 Curriculum at grade 4 level under Senate Bill no. 228, and Senate Bill 513 seeking to strengthen the Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation in the country, which includes a provision on removing the court order requirement for drug dependents who want to undergo voluntary rehabilitation.