By Mario Casayuran
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said on Tuesday that the Duterte administration’s fight against illegal drugs would continue to the last hour of its six-year term that ends on June 30, 2022.
Go said talk about routing the pernicious illegal drugs problem is not enough ‘’but you have to scare them, you must be ready to kill (the drug lords] for the good of the affected innocent Filipinos.’’
The former special assistant to President Duterte made this observation after Vice President Leni Robredo presented her recommendations and concluded that President Duterte’s bloody anti-illegal drugs campaign is a ‘’dismal failure.’’
“We respect her recommendations. But again, let me reiterate, hindi po madadaan sa salita lamang ang laban sa iligal na droga,’’ Go stressed.
‘’As long as the addicts are there, the drug lords are there, the greed for money is there, we cannot easily wipe out the supply of ‘shabu’ (crystal meth) in the country. This is the reason why the government campaign has to continue to save the innocent victims of illegal drugs. We will continue to intensify the campaign [against illegal drugs), he said.
Robredo slammed on Monday the government’s anti-drug campaign as a “failure” as she finally revealed her findings during her 18-day stint as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on illegal drugs in late 2019.
The Vice Prtesident gave President Duterte’s government a dismal “1 out of 100” score in its flagship program to fight narcotics, saying that authorities were only able to seize one percent of the total supply of illegal drugs in the country.
“Let me remind VP Robredo that, first, the war against illegal drugs is a continuing campaign and a relentless one. We will not stop until we put an end to this menace. Hindi po ito madadaan sa salita lamang. Dapat takutin at, kung kailangan, patayin ang masasamang loob para sugpuin ang iligal na droga sa bansa (We cannot do it by mere talking alone. We have to scare them, and if it is necessary, you have to kill them in order to finish the illegal drugs problem in the country),” he explained.
“Second, noong umupo si Pangulong Duterte, nawala na ang mga ‘tiangge’ na nagbebenta ng iligal na droga. Dahil maraming takot mamatay, maraming piniling magbagong buhay. Nasa datos rin iyan ng PDEA at PNP (President Duterte, upon his assumption to office, the ‘tiangges’ that used to sell illegal drugs were dismantled because many were afraid to die, and they decided to reform. These are in the records of PDEA and PNP),” the senator added.
“Third, sa kabila ng mga ginawang hakbang ng gobyerno, sa kabila ng walang humpay na kampanya kontra droga, para kay VP Leni ang grado ng gobyerno ay 1/100 lamang. Parang may mali naman sa batayan ng ating Vice President kung ano ang makakabuti sa bayan (Third, despite the relentless efforts of the government against drugs, For VP Robredo, the grade of the government is 1/100 only. It seems that the Vice President has a wrong basis for what is good for the country),” he added.
Go pointed out that between one person using her own computation giving a grade of one percent, and 79 percent of Filipinos who said they are satisfied with the campaign, he will choose to believe the latter. “Sila ang mga ordinaryong mamamayan natin na direktang nakikinabang. Sila kasi ang nagsasabing mas ligtas sila ngayon kaysa noong panahon ng nagdaang administrasyon. At sila ang nagsasabi na ituloy dapat at mas palakasin pa ang laban para maitigil ang iligal na droga sa bansa (They are the ordinary citizens who directly benefited [from the campaign]. They are the ones saying that they are safer now compared to the time of the past administration. And they are also saying that the campaign against drugs has to continue and to intensify it in order to stop the illegal drugs in the country.”
“VP Leni, tanungin nalang natin ang taumbayan. Pakinggan niyo po ang hinaing ng ordinaryong mamamayan (VP Leni, let’s ask the people. Listen to the concerns of the ordinary citizens). Majority of Filipinos are satisfied with the war against illegal drugs because they feel safer now. Siguro kung si VP Leni pa rin ang nakaupong co-chair ng ICAD, mas dadami pa ang supply ng shabu dahil hindi matatakot ang drug lords sa kanyang iminumungkahing stratehiya (Perhaps if VP Leni is still a co-chair of ICAD, there will be more supply of shabu because the drug lords will not be scared of her recommended strategy),” Go said.