BUKIDNON Representative Teofisto Guingona III expressed alarm over reports of the United States State Department that drug money could affect the outcome of the May 2010 national and local elections in the country.

 

In an emailed statement, Guingona said in the US’s 2010 international narcotics control strategy report released in Washington, the US state department said the Philippines’ drug problem continued to pose a significant national threat despite reports of a possible decline in the supply and demand of illegal drugs in some parts of the country.

 

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“With the upcoming 2010 elections, there is fear that illicit narcotics funds may affect election results,” the 668-page report said on the section on the Philippines.

 

Guingona said the report cited the value of illegal drugs trafficked in the Philippines was placed at $6.4 billion to $8.4 billion annually, with Cebu, Northern Mindanao and Metro Manila as the top three affected areas.

 

“Narco-politics has no place in this country. Just like jueteng money, drug money is blood money. Those who will accept blood money to fund their campaign cannot wash the blood off their hands as many lives have been and are being ruined by this drug menace,” Guingona said.

 

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Dangerous Drugs Board are leading the fight against illegal drugs, but these agencies complain of the inconsistent laws applying to the arrest of drug lords, pushers and users and the prosecution of drug cases.

The PDEA, in particular, bewails the failure of arrests and prosecution because of legal technicalities and cannot fully implement its mandate to curb the illegal drug menace because of lack of finances and government support.

 

Guingona urged the National Government and the PDEA as well as all government law enforcement agencies to be very vigilant against the possibility of drug money being used for political purposes.

He also urged PDEA to pursue any evidence of such influence in order to be able to carry out arrests.

 

“We must all be very vigilant against any malevolent forces that may influence the outcome of the May elections. The people and the country need genuine reforms, and narco-politics is just another evil the country can do without,” Guingona said.