THE Philippine National Police leadership headed by Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa is going all-out to promote a drug-free environment in all government and private workplaces as embodied under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, a senior PNP official said yesterday.
“Right now, on orders of Gen. dela Rosa, we are tapping the help of authorities in all workplaces in our aggressive campaign against illegal drug trafficking and abuse,” said PNP Director for Operations, Chief Superintendent Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan.
RA 9165 requires the promotion of a national drug-free workplace program with the participation of private and labor sectors and the Department of Labor and Employment.
Cascolan said police will be promoting the anti-drug campaign in all workplaces and would talk with owners and managers of private offices for the need to subject their employees in random drug testing.
At present, many government offices and local government units have been subjecting their employees to mandatory drug testing. A number of private companies including media organizations have followed suit in support of President Duterte’s anti-drug advocacy.
As proof that drugs have infiltrated every nook and corner of the country, the massive anti-narcotics campaign ordered by President Duterte since Day 1 of his presidency has prompted the surrender of more than 760,000 confessed drug personalities, more than 55,000 of them drug dealers and the rest users of marijuana and shabu.
Cascolan said that since the PNP launched its Project Double Barrel last July 1, police have conducted over 34,000 anti-narcotics operations resulting in the killing of 1,795 armed drug dealers during gunbattles with arresting officers and the arrest of more than 33,200 drug offenders, some 20,000 of them wanted for involvement in illicit drug trafficking.
The official said that during the same period, 23 of the 956 ‘high-value’ drug targets or HVTs validated by the PNP Directorate for Intelligence engaged officers in gunfights while being arrested and were killed in the process. Another 109 were arrested while 361 surrendered after feeling the heat of the intense police operation to get them. Cascolan said that the arrest of more than 33,200 drug personalities is an indication that police would like to catch drug offenders alive and would only shoot if their lives are in real danger.
The menace also bolstered the need for the PNP and other law enforcement agencies, government and private offices and all sectors of society to help promote a drug-free environment.
Gen. dela Rosa has ordered the drug testing of all members of the 160,000-strong police force in an effort to ferret out policemen who are into illegal substance. “I will see to it that anyone of my men who will test positive for shabu or marijuana will face administrative charges that may merit their dismissal from the service. There is no room for any drug-using cop in this country,” the top cop said.
Section 49 of RA 9165 says that “all labor unions, federations, associations, or organizations in cooperation with the respective private sector partners shall include in their collective bargaining or any similar agreements, joint continuing programs and information campaigns for the laborers similar to the programs provided under Section 47 of RA 9165 with the end in view of achieving a drug free workplace.’
RA 9165 also requires the full participation of Local Government Units or LGUs in the national government’s anti-drug campaign.
Section 51 says that ‘Local government units shall appropriate a substantial portion of their respective annual budgets to assist in or enhance the enforcement of this Act giving priority to preventive or educational programs and the rehabilitation or treatment of drug dependents.’
Section 52 is about the Abatement of Drug Related Public Nuisances. It says that ‘any place or premises which have been used on two or more occasions as the site of the unlawful sale or delivery of dangerous drugs may be declared to be a public nuisance,’ and such nuisance may be abated, pursuant to the following procedures:
(1) Any city or municipality may, by ordinance, create an administrative board to hear complaints regarding the nuisances;
(2) any employee, officer, or resident of the city or municipality may bring a complaint before the Board after giving not less than three (3) days written notice of such complaint to the owner of the place or premises at his/her last known address; and
(3) After hearing in which the Board may consider any evidence, including evidence of the general reputation of the place or premises, and at which the owner of the premises shall have an opportunity to present evidence in his/her defense, the Board may declare the place or premises to be a public nuisance.