PHILIPPINE Constitution Association (Philconsa) President Martin Romualdez yesterday urged law enforcement agencies to intensify the campaign against illegal drugs as part of overall efforts to restore law and order in the country, but underscored the importance to uphold human rights.
Romualdez stressed this as he backed the anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte.
“It is true that illegal drug use leads to other crimes. So it is only proper that we focus on neutralizing both the drug trafficking syndicates and street-level pushers to reduce crime incidence, particularly in Metro Manila and other urban centers.The government must suppress crime and lawlessness with all the powers at its command because we cannot focus on economic development that will create jobs and reduce poverty with criminals roaming freely in our streets,” Romualdez said.
Meanwhile, Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers has urged parents to keep an eye on their children after reports that drug syndicates are now using minors, students and younger individuals as drug mules.
“It worries me that these syndicates are trying to outwit Philippine authorities by using students as drug mules, deviating from the usual practice of using domestic helpers,” said Barbers.
Following the arrest of Jonjon Villamin Jr. at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 for alleged possession of 4.8 kilograms of cocaine, Barbers noted that this was not the first time a young person was used in illicit drug activities. PDEA records showed that since 2011 until July 2016, there were 956 minors involved in illegal drug trades.
“Time and again, we see in the news how drug rings tried to evade arrest by using minors in their affairs. Kaya naman, pinapayuhan natin ang mga magulang na tignang mabuti ang galaw ng kanilang mga anak. Bantayan at subaybayan ang mga gawain ng mga ito para maiwasan ang maging biktima ng mga sindikato o madawit sa anumang kriminal na aktibidad,” expressed Barbers.
“And at the same time, we want to remind school administrators and teachers that it is also their job to safeguard our children from harm.Nalaman natin na kadalasan, ang mga sindikatong ito ay umaaligid sa mga eskuwelahan. Doon sila nag-re-recruit ng mga batang pwede nilang magamit bilang drug courier o runner. Sa mga guro, kung meron tayong mapansin na kakaiba sa kinikilos ng ating mga estudyante, i-report agad o ipaalam sa magulang. Magtulungan po tayo upang tuluyan nating mapuksa ang problema sa droga,” said Barbers.