Sotto wants war on drugs continued even beyond one-year deadline

MANILA – Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said on Monday President Rodrigo R. Duterte should not be pressured if he fails to finish the war against drug within the period he promised during the election campaign.

Sotto made this comment in response to President Duterte’s request for additional six months to finish his intensified campaign against the drug menace.

”Even if he asked for one year extension, there is no problem with me for as long as he continues the fight,” Sotto said in a Senate media interview.

Sotto said the problem of illegal drugs is so huge that even President Duterte’s mission of drug-free Philippines is no longer possible in this lifetime.

”We cannot achieve drug-free but aiming for a drug-resistant Philippines is possible,” he said.

In less than three months of the new Duterte administration, the government’s massive anti-drug campaign has prompted almost 700,000 drug pushers and users to surrender themselves to the authorities.

According to the Philippine National Police (PNP), more than 1,000 alleged drug users and dealers have been killed in legitimate police operations while nearly 20,000 have been arrested throughout the country.

Senator Panfilo Lacson agreed that the fight against drug is a continuing battle, saying the campaign will be finished within “our lifetime.”

”I would not buy that promise or commitment that it will completely stop. But it can be reduced to a great degree. Even rich nations have still problem in drugs as well in corruption,” Lacson, a former PNP chief, said. Jelly Musico/PNA/