Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa expressed his full support for the budget of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) to sustain advocacy that is very close to his heart – the war on drugs.
“Automatic ‘yan, you don’t need to appeal to me. Kung ano ‘yung magagawa ko, gagawin ko para diyan. Ito ‘yung adbokasiya natin, ‘yung drugs eh. Naging senador ako dahil dito sa adbokasiya ko sa drugs kaya we have to support you all the way kung anong dapat natin gawin dito,” Dela Rosa said to DDB Executive Director – Undersecretary Earl Saavedra during the hearing of the Committee on Finance Sub-Committee C on the Fiscal Year 2023 budget of DDB and PDEA.
The former top cop also expressed confidence that drug syndicates could not outwit the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and law enforcement agencies despite being creative in their illicit operations.
In a media briefing after the hearing, the legislator was asked about an alleged new modus operandi of drug syndicates wherein they avoid being monitored in seaports by dumping the illegal drugs in international waters, where they will later be retrieved by cohorts.
“While the syndicates are more creative now, they still fail to outsmart and avoid PDEA or other law enforcement agencies.”
The Mindanaoan lawmaker said that while the syndicates are more creative now, they still fail to outsmart and avoid PDEA or other law enforcement agencies since they have been detected.
“Very creative minds itong mga sindikato, ‘di ba? ‘Yung mga drug syndicates. And they are always, gusto nila palaging one step ahead of the law enforcement agencies. ‘Yun nga, magaling, magaling ‘yung kanilang diskarte na gano’n. But nakita pa rin ng ating PDEA ‘yung kanilang strategy na gano’n,” the senator told reporters.
He commended the government’s drive against illegal drugs as he cited the record showing that the number of drug-infected barangays in the country has decreased.
“Maganda ‘yung nangyari sa ating war on drugs at dumadami ‘yung barangay na drug-cleared.”
According to PDEA, only 9,590 barangays remain drug-infected out of the 42,046 total barangays nationwide.
“That is the parameter that we are using, ‘di ba? As far as drug problem is concerned, ‘yung drug-clearing program ng PDEA. The more barangays being cleared from the drug problem ay the better the campaign is going. So…maganda ‘yung nangyari sa ating war on drugs at dumadami ‘yung barangay na drug-cleared,” Dela Rosa said.
As the chief of the Philippine National Police in the first few years of the Duterte administration, he led the government’s war on drugs which resulted in the successful dismantling of drug syndicates, confiscation of huge volumes of illegal drugs, destruction of illegal drug laboratories, and arrests of high-profile drug lords and their protectors.