BAGUIO City Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) in the Cordillera Administrative Region agreed local governments will have to adopt localized strategies to help curb the proliferation of illegal drugs in their areas and end the country’s drug problem.
The local chief executive said the sudden withdrawal of the Philippine National Police (PNP) from the government’s anti-drug campaign due to the involvement of some police scalawags in extortion activities in the guise of legitimate drug operations has greatly affected the campaign to put an end to the drug problem.
"The RPOC members recognize there is a serious problem among local governments in dealing with the campaign against illegal drugs because of the insufficient number of law enforcers in the anti-illegal drug campaign, thus, there is a need for local officials to craft the appropriate strategies to sustain what was started by the present administration to put an end to the drug problem in their areas of jurisdiction,” Domogan stressed.
Domogan said local officials have to capitalize on the anti-narcotics agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) with the police and military serving as back up forces to sustain the gains of the government’s anti-drug campaign and prevent the resumption of the lucrative drug trade in the localities where the drug problem was significantly reduced by the previous operations.
The PNP leadership, added Domogan, should instead have removed the involved scalawags in the anti-illegal drug units of the PNP so drug lords will not take advantage of the situation to reorganize their groups and resume their illegal trade which will again result in the increase in petty crimes.
Domogan explained the government's anti-drug campaign was instrumental in significantly reducing the volume of crimes in all areas of the country that is why drastic changes in the strategies might affect the implementation of the program by people from other agencies who have less staff than that of the PNP.
The mayor exhorted local governments to implement as soon as possible their anti-illegal drug campaign strategies to avoid illegal drug groups from reorganizing themselves.
He admitted the drug problem has negative effects on the society, especially the proliferation of crimes that threaten human security, thus, measures must be done drastically to curb the problem as early as possible. (Dexter See/PIO)