MANILA, July 5 — The head of the Philippine delegation on Wednesday put the administration’s anti-drug campaign into international spotlight during an inter-parliamentary meeting with ASEAN lawmakers, citing a sharp decline in the prices of hard drugs and the rate of crimes.
House Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu presented the country report on the results of President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug campaign during the 13th ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) Fact-Finding Committee (AIFOCOM) to Combat the Drug Menace at Conrad Hotel, Pasay City.
During his presentation, Abu highlighted that the Duterte administration “has transformed the drive against illegal drugs from a mere law enforcement concern, to a full-blown, multi-agency and community-based illegal drug eradication program.”
“This (war on drugs) consists of intelligence activities, drug prevention and public information campaigns as well as victim rehabilitation and community re-assimilation efforts,” he added.
Abu said since the start of the Duterte administration, the government has seized about PHP13 billion worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu), and sequestered around PHP19 billion worth of non-drug evidence.
Abu said at least 1.3 million drug users have voluntarily surrendered and are undergoing rehabilitation and reintegration in the community.
He further noted that after 62,751 anti-illegal drug operations, the crime rate has decreased by 28.57 percent.
The Batangas lawmaker also pointed out the link between illegal drugs and terrorism with the confiscation of more than PHP200 million worth of shabu during the military operations against terrorist groups in Mindanao.
Abu urged ASEAN member states to work together “to streamline laws that will address criminality, enhance law enforcement, strengthen border control and facilitate joint maritime and coastal security cooperation.”
Pursuant to its term of reference, the AIFOCOM should meet at least once a year, preferably in the country where the AIPA General Assembly will be held on that year. The Philippines is host to the 38th AIPA General Assembly this year. (Filane Mikee Cervantes/PNA)