With 7M-8M drug users, PDEA says it needs to ‘recalibrate’ drug war
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the lead agency of the government’s war on illegal drugs, said it needs to “reassess” and “recalibrate’ its campaign after President Rodrigo Duterte claimed that the number of drug users in the country has increased to seven to eight million.
“We need to reassess and recalibrate all (our) actions kasi (because) this will incorporate rehabilitation, and not just pure law enforcement,” PDEA Spokesperson Derrick Carreon said in a briefing in Camp Crame.
Carreon did not question the President’s estimate, claiming that Duterte, as Chief Executive, has a “wealth of reliable sources.”
He added that the agency, like the Philippine National Police (PNP), will take Duterte’s remark as a “challenge” to improve their campaign against illegal drugs.
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin said the increase in the number of arrests yields more information that affected the government’s figures.
“The estimates will continue to change for as long as we continue to improve on our drug operations. These drug operations are improving (because)…there are more arrests,” he said.
Duterte issued the remark during the campaign rally of PDP-Laban in Biñan, Laguna over the weekend.
“So ilan ‘yan sila? I’ll place it at about seven to eight million now. Now tell me. There are seven to eight million Filipinos reduced to slaves to a drug called shabu,” Duterte said. /ee
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.