Decriminalize drug use? Yes, please, says dela Rosa | Inquirer News

Decriminalize drug use? Yes, please, says dela Rosa

/ 02:14 PM November 24, 2022

Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa  (Bibo Nueva España / Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa wants to decriminalize illegal drug use in the country.

Dela Rosa, then police chief known for leading the war on drugs, said that he authored a measure to decriminalize illegal drug use.


“Gusto ko nga dahil kasagsagan ng ating war on drugs, nakita natin na punong-puno na ang ating kulungan dahil diyan sa mga drug offenses,” he said on GMA’s Unang Hirit on Thursday when asked if he favors such decriminalization.


(I want to decriminalize it because, at the height of the war on drugs, we saw that prisons got congested because of drug offenses.)

“In order to decongest itong mga kulungan, sabi natin, i-decriminalize na lang ‘yan dahil ‘yun namang mga rehabilitation centers natin ay hindi napupuno,” he added.

(To decongest jails, I said, let us decriminalize it because our rehabilitation centers have space.)

On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs held a hearing on establishing drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation centers where the decriminalization was raised.

Law enforcement agencies, however, raised opposition to the proposed decriminalization during the deliberations, according to dela Rosa.

“Narinig ko ‘yung kanilang side ay malakas ang kanilang oposisyon. Ayaw na ayaw nila dahil it will send daw a wrong signal doon sa ating mga kabataan na it’s okay to use drugs kasi hindi ka pala makukulong, ire-rehab ka lang,” he said.


(I heard their side, and they oppose it. They strongly oppose it because it will send a wrong signal to the youth that it’s okay to use drugs because they will not go to jail but only to rehabilitation centers.)

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) supports decriminalization as it considers drug use a health problem, said dela Rosa.

The senator suspended the hearing following contrasting claims and noted that a thorough discussion on the matter is needed to come up with “a very good piece of legislation.”

Dela Rosa stressed that decriminalization would cover marijuana and other illegal drugs such as crystal meth and cocaine.

The senator is pushing for the decriminalization of illegal drug use in a bid to decongest jails.

Dela Rosa has been accused of crimes against humanity, together with former President Rodrigo Duterte, before the International Criminal Court over the alleged state-sponsored extrajudicial killings linked with Duterte’s war on drugs.

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TAGS: Cocaine, Crystal Meth, decriminalizing drug use

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