PNP chief cites need for rehab, livelihood programs in war on drugs
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) cited the need to explore the possible inclusion of rehabilitation and livelihood programs in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.
PNP chief Police Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. on Monday lauded the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte for bringing awareness to the consequences of illegal drugs in the country, but he also reiterated the need to review and recalibrate its implementation under a new administration.
“In this administration, we need to study po. Hindi natin sinasabi na mali po iyong strategy noon, but we need to study some more: How do we improve our campaign or war on drugs? And it does not only come from the PNP, but it should come from every sector, every concerned member of the community,” he said during a press briefing at Camp Crame, Quezon City.
(In this administration, we need to study. We’re not saying the strategy before was wrong, but we need to study it some more. How do we improve our campaign or war on drugs? And it does not only come from the PNP, but it should come from every sector, every concerned member of the community.)
Aside from restating the PNP’s intention of enjoining villages and other government agencies in the implementation of the war on drugs, Azurin also outlined their plans for drug rehabilitation initiatives.
“We need to engage the Department of Health. How do we intend to rehabilitate iyon pong gusto na medyo magbagong buhay? And for those who do not have jobs, how do we intend to give them a source of living, so kaya po nilang buhayin ang kanilang pamilya,” he explained.
(We need to engage the Department of Health. How do we intend to rehabilitate those who want to maybe reform? And for those who do not have jobs, how do we intend to give them a source of living, so they can provide for their families.)
Asked about whether the PNP under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration will veer away from the “bloody image” of the war on drugs, Azurin replied: “I cannot comment on that. I’m sorry. Hindi kasi natin pwedeng sabihin na bloody e, because during operation, iyong judgement call kasi ng operatives: ‘Aantayin mo ba na ikaw muna ang mamatay bago ka mag-retaliate?’ That is the judgement call ng any team leader [and] any operating police kapag nasa field siya.”
(I cannot comment on that. I’m sorry. We can’t really say it was bloody since, during operations, the judgment call of operatives is ‘Do we wait to be killed before we retaliate?’ That is the judgment call of any team leader [and] any operating police when they’re on the field.)
The war on drugs of the Duterte administration left 6,252 suspects killed from July 1, 2016, to May 31, 2022, according to official government data.
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