LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — Pangasinan Second Disteict Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil has declared his personal support to the “no non-sense, no mercy, no toleration campaign against illegal drugs” being waged by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Bataoil, a retired police general, said that based on President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncements, he is much worried over the proliferation of illegal drugs all over the country.
He said, “I think out of frustration he (the President) has directed the PNP (Philippine National Police) to go all out and focus on the campaign against illegal drugs because in the past administration, they tried their best also…but campaign plans did not make a remarkable difference.”
The past campaign plans included the National Strategic Plan in the campaign on total drug eradication as well as the Vision 2010, 2020, and 2030 for the total “No drug Philippines,” he noted.
He noted that despite these plans, the drug problem has even proliferated and the number of drug dependents increased.
“If I got the PDEA and the DDB data right, from certain period of time in the past, there were 1.5 million users, now there are 1.8 million users,” he disclosed.
With regard to the deaths of drug personalities due to their illegal drug operations, Bataoil said police officers have always been taught to observe rules of engagement.
He said, “I was a commander myself, and what we promoted sa ating mga kapulisan ay iyong police operational procedures, that is the rules of engagement when they operate.”
He said the goal is always to neutralize or disarm the suspect and try them in court but there are instances that result to shoot out, especially if the suspect retaliates.
In defense to the PNP, Bataoil said, “I would prefer our policeman to be alive than the suspects to be alive.”
“Under the circumstances, my final guidance to them (police officers) is for as long as you can defend your actions on the ground even in Plaza Miranda, go on,” he quipped.
Meanwhile, the congressman described President Duterte’s first SONA, delivered on July 25, 2016, as “loud and clear.”
“It was delivered in a manner well understood by all especially the masses,” he said.
He also hailed the declaration of unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA “thereby preventing further loss of lives.” PNA/northboundasia.com