Illegal drugs crackdown is everyone’s concern — Lacson

MANILA — While law enforcement authorities are primarily responsible for the crackdown on the illegal drug trade, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said that it is everyone’s concern to monitor their efforts and do their part in complimenting them.

“It is a shared responsibility. We all have individual responsibilities if we want to put a stop to the illegal drugs problem. There’s a certain amount of personal risk. But if we run away from our responsibilities, how can beat a problem as big as this? We have a responsibility to the society, whether it is media, law enforcement or ordinary citizens. We have to think about our responsibility to benefit future generations,” Lacson said.

“Sa simpleng pananalita, walang bibili kung walang magbebenta, at walang magbebenta kung walang bibili (Simply put, no one will buy drugs if no one will sell them, and no one will sell them if no one will buy them),” he added.

On the sidelines of a recent illegal drugs destruction ceremony in Cavite, Lacson reminded the Philippine National Police (PNP) to act with integrity and credibility by doing what he or she says, especially under unguarded and tempting circumstances.

“If a man is truthful and upright in public, but renounces those standards in private, then he lacks credibility because he has no integrity,” Lacson, former PNP chief, said.

“…If we intend to remain committed to this cause, we should also fortify parallel efforts to ensure this is not the battle of the PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) alone or of the PNP alone, but more so by all of us. We should all work together to eliminate this menace by all means necessary, but with proper regard to and complete respect for the individual rights of all concerned, whether they be the one enforcing the law or the one to whom the law is being enforced,” he added.

He said that a public servant who is trustworthy before the media and cameras, but abandons his code of morals when no one is around is not worthy of respect.

The senator also reiterated the need for law enforcement agencies not to let “a few bad apples” undermine their efforts.

“We should not let a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch. We should fight tooth and nail to break the grip of erring officers within all law enforcement agencies to win back the confidence of the public in our institutions,” Lacson said.

He also urged law enforcement agencies to mount an information campaign to let the public, especially the youths, realize the negative effects of drug abuse.

Lacson was the guest at the PDEA ceremony where more than PHP400 million worth of illegal drugs including shabu, cocaine, ketamine, marijuana, ephedrine, ecstasy, and expired medicines were destroyed by thermal decomposition.

At present, the anti-illegal drug campaign Oplan Tokhang of the administration has been stopped temporarily but the war on drugs continues under supervision of the PDEA.

Upon the directive of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, the PNP has temporarily stopped all its anti-drug-related operations.

The abolition of all the PNP anti-drug units was triggered by series of drug-related cases involving policemen, including those who abducted and killed Korean executive Jee Ick Joo inside the PNP’s headquarters at Camp Crame.

Pres. Duterte has also ordered the abolition of the police anti-drug units to allow the cleansing and eradication of scalawags and criminals within the PNP.