Duterte sets anti-illegal drugs blueprint

MANILA — PDP-Laban party standard bearer and presumptive Philippine president Mayor Rodrigo Duterte plans to launch a two-pronged strategy against illegal drugs nationwide.

His ally, former justice undersecretary Jose Calida, said such strategy targeted reducing demand for and supply of illegal drugs in the country.

“Illegal drug’s permeation is already horrible – it’s almost 100 percent,” Calida said, explaining rationale behind the planned strategy.

He’s optimistic the strategy will help reduce criminality in the country.

This week, Duterte’s camp also bared the economic agenda his government plans pursuing in the next six years.

His camp believes such agenda will help further move the country forward and better address poverty.

Illegal drugs and poverty are the root causes of crime, Calida noted.

Known as the mayor who improved peace and order in strife-stricken Davao City, Duterte campaigned on a platform prioritizing action against corruption, lawlessness and proliferation of illegal drugs nationwide.

“I’ll clean up this country,” he assured during his ‘miting de avance’ last week in Metro Manila.

Calida said government under Duterte would pursue an education campaign aimed at informing people – particularly the youth – about illegal drugs’ dangers.

“Knowledge of such dangers will help reduce demand for illegal drugs,” Calida said.

He also said Duterte’s government would mount a nationwide crackdown against suppliers of illegal drugs in the country.

Among the crackdown’s interventions would be hunting and arresting drug lords, bringing them to justice and dismantling their illicit laboratories, said Calida.

He cited plans to incarcerate drug lords and other hardened criminals in a high-security island-fortress like the US’ former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary.

Separating drug lords from the national penitentiary’s general population aims at curbing their influence on prisoners there and reported involvement in illegal drug-related activities inside prison, he noted.

As a further precaution against proliferation of illegal drugs, Calida said Duterte’s government plans to introduce reforms at Bureau of Customs.

He noted such reforms were needed since the Philippines was already a transshipment point for illegal drugs as government already scrapped the death penalty.

Unofficial election results from Commission on Elections-accredited poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting reported as of 10:45 a.m. Saturday (May 14) that Duterte leading the presidential race with 15.95 million votes.

Liberal Party standard bearer and former interior chief Mar Roxas II trailed him at second place with 9.70 million votes followed by independent candidate Sen. Grace Poe (8.93 million votes), United Nationalist Alliance bet Vice-President Jejomar Binay (5.31 million votes), People’s Reform Party candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago (1.42 million votes) and the late party list representative Roy Seneres (25,145 million votes) who died in February this year.

Roxas, Poe and Binay already conceded and congratulated Duterte. PNA/northboundasia.com