There’ll be no ‘tokhang’ under Lacson-Sotto admin’s anti-drug drive
MANILA, Philippines — “Walang tokhang.”
This was how Senator Panfilo Lacson described his and Senate President Vicente Sotto III’s anti-drug campaign should they win in the 2022 national elections.
“Walang tokhang. Sinabi na ito ni Senate President…sinabi niya na sakin na ‘wag ko nang problemahin yun. Sabi niya, kinapos yung current administration. I-admit na rin ito ni Pangulong [Rodrigo] Duterte sa kanyang Sona (State of the Nation Address) na akala niya ganoon kasimple,” Lacson said during a Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum Wednesday.
(There will be no tokhang. The Senate President told me he will handle the anti-illegal drug campaign. He told me, the current administration fell short. Even President Duterte admitted that he thought fighting the illegal drug problem would be easy.)
Oplan: Tokhang has been the flagship anti-drug program of the Duterte administration since 2016.
For the 2022 polls, Lacson will be gunning for the presidency with Sotto, his running mate, joining the vice presidential race.
Earlier in the forum, Sotto said he will be handling their anti-drug campaign, having spent 31 years advocating against illegal drugs and drug abuse in the country. More than 10 years ago, Sotto was the chair of the Dangerous Drugs Board.
“My first promise would be that I will remove his headache as far as illegal drugs and drug abuse [are] concerned,” Sotto said.
“Hindi na niya poproblemahin ‘yun. Ako ang bahala doon. Gagamitin ko yung expertise ko ng 31 years sa advocacy na ito para wag na niyang problemahin yun,” he added.
(He should no longer worry about it. I will deal with it. I will use my expertise of being an advocate for 31 years.)
Lacson, according to Sotto, can focus more on the country’s economy and other important programs.
Nevertheless, Sotto said Lacson will still be his “number one adviser” when it comes to combating the country’s drug problem since the latter previously served as chief of the Philippine National Police.
Focus on prevention, rehab
Lacson said Sotto’s approach would be to focus on prevention and rehabilitation, which he said the current administration lacked in its own anti-drug campaign.
“Ang pagkukulang, na-focus masyado sa law enforcement, nakalimutan yung prevention at saka rehabilitation,” Lacson said.
(What they lacked was that they focused so much on law enforcement, they forgot about prevention and rehabilitation.)
He then touted Sotto’s experience in dealing with issues regarding illegal drugs and drug abuse since the Senate president served as chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board.
Sotto, Lacson further noted, also started the anti-illegal drug campaign in Quezon City when the Senate leader was vice mayor.
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