The no non-sense campaign against drugs should include other factors making it a holistic approach and not justÂ with the battlecry of “killing these drug personalities.”
Rep. Rene Relampagos, former chair of the House Committee on Human Rights toldÂ The Chronicle the campaign should see the need toÂ “provide the most appropriate interventions and follow up on leads involving drug suppliers or syndicates.
The solon said theÂ holistic approach includes education, prevention, rehabilitation, livelihood and youth development programs.
â€œThe multiple raids and warrants for the arrests of drug users and dealers is a good sign that we are serious in our fight against illegal drugs especially in our province of Bohol where drug activity is rampant. However, I still believe that saving lives by getting drug users seek medical help shall always be our priority,â€ Relampagos said.
In the past few days, Bohol has made national headlines after police officers conducted a series of raids in the province that resulted to the death of one of the top local drug personalities in the province and an alleged shootout of a suspected top drug pusher.
President Rodrigo Duterte promised that tens of thousands of people would die, with security forces being given shoot-to-kill orders. Since winning, he has also promised to give bounties to police for killing drug dealers. He also encouraged ordinary citizens to kill or arrest suspects.
Relampagos expressed alarm over the increasing number of reports that suspected drug-peddlers and pushers have been shot, which he claimed may lead to widespread rights violations.
â€œItâ€™s disappointing that we are still clinging to the flawed idea that killing people or threatening to execute them will end drug use or trafficking in our society.Â Drugs is a very serious and complex problem that requires a pragmatic and more comprehensive approach. It is not right for anybody to take justice into their hands. The rapid rise in death toll is alarming.â€
But our first line of defense should always be prevention. We need to educate our youth to say â€œnoâ€ to drugs and prevent users from influencing their peers. That Close-up Concert incident should never happen again.â€
â€œThe authorities should focus on interrupting the flow of illegal drugs within the country and bringing down big-time drug syndicates operating all over the Philippines. They should go after big fish, not small fry and see to it that once arrested, they wonâ€™t be able to continue illegal activities inside their cells. Moreover, the government must also equip our law enforcers and anti-drug agencies with adequate funds and equipment that are necessary in carrying out investigations and buy-bust operations so they can discharge their duties more effectively. The government should also help poor families who want, but cannot afford, to send their drug-dependent children to rehabilitation centers,â€ Relampagos concluded.