Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa considers the 225,000-strong Philippine National Police (PNP) as the muscle of the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign.
Dela Rosa underscored the importance of the PNP’s active and indispensable role as the muscle-provider in the whole-of-nation approach in the no-nonsense war on drugs launched during the Duterte administration which was first led and implemented by the senator as then-Chief PNP.
“The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency will not be able to carry out on its own the anti-drug campaign envisioned by the Dangerous Drugs Board since they are small in number.”
The former top cop acknowledged that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency will not be able to carry out on its own the anti-drug campaign envisioned by the Dangerous Drugs Board since they are small in number.
“Ayon, 2,000-3,000 [ang PDEA], plus admin na iyan. Can that carry out the anti-drug campaign na envisioned by the Dangerous Drugs Board throughout the Philippine archipelago? So, kailangan talaga kayo (PNP). You are the muscle of this campaign,” the legislator said during the organizational meeting of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, in which he is the chairperson.
The lawmaker vowed to work doubly hard to expedite approval of the bill to institutionalize the Anti-Drug Abuse Council (ADAC) body in every barangay throughout the country, citing the barangay folk’s reliable monitoring skills regarding illegal drug transactions, movements, and suspects in their areas.
The author and sponsor of the ADAC bill in the just concluded 18th Congress, refiled the measure in the current 19th Congress, because according to the senator, “‘Yung momentum natin was interrupted by the pandemic”.
“Rest assured that we will be more aggressive in the passage of the (ADAC) law. Iyon nga, as I have said, nasira tayo sa pandemic, kinapos ng oras. But this time, we have already refiled the measure. So, bilisan natin ito para hindi tayo aabutin ng closing ng (19th) Congress na ito,” he said.
During his presidency, Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 66, which institutionalized the Philippine Anti-Drug Strategy composed of supply reduction and demand reduction pillars as the main thrusts of the government’s whole-of-nation approach in the campaign against illegal drugs.
Under the strategy, the target would be the grassroots since the government recognized that the battle against illegal drugs is being fought in the barangays.
“Pag may palutang lutang nanaman na mga droga sa dagat, sila ang unang makakapag-inform sa atin.”
“That is why ‘whole-of-nation approach’ itong ginagawa natin, hindi ba? Including the community itself, iyung mga taga barangay sila naman talaga ang pinaka-first-hand information ‘pag may papasok d’yan na droga. Kaya maganda iyung ating BADAC (Barangay Anti-Drug Council), talagang ma-institutionalize iyung ating mga ADAC, lalong-lalo na sa barangay level dahil sila naman talaga ang makapagbibigay sa atin ng information agad. Pag may palutang lutang nanaman na mga droga sa dagat, sila ang unang makakapag-inform sa atin,” he said.
Dela Rosa also urged the PNP to continue the relentless efforts in the fight against illegal drugs, criminality and insurgency which commenced during the Duterte administration.
“For me, I presume, nakita naman siguro ni Presidente (Bongbong Marcos) na maganda iyong takbo ng ating anti-drug campaign, ng ating anti-terrorism campaign, ng ating anti-criminality campaign. May kasabihan tayo, ‘why fix if it ain’t broke,'” he said.