Abalos: Time to strike at the core of the drug problem
MANILA, Philippines — The government’s campaign against illegal drugs should eradicate the drug menace from its roots, according to Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr.
In his speech at the Buhay Ingatan, Droga Ayawan (Bida) “Bayanihan ng Mamamayan” fun run held in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, on Sunday, March 12, Abalos said:
“I tell you this: Lilinisin natin ng husto ito. Ang importante dito, while law enforcement authorities are doing their thing, para itong puno – huli ka ng huli, pero baka may tumubong bagong sanga. Ang importante, habang tinatanggal natin ang sanga ng puno, inuugat natin ito. This is what the Bida program is all about.”
(I tell you this: we’re going to clean it up. The important thing here is, while law enforcement authorities are doing their thing, it’s like a tree – we keep on arresting but maybe a new branch will grow. The important thing is, as we remove the branch from the tree, we root it. This is what the Bida program is all about.)
Abalos also pointed out that the fun run is part of the government’s “grassroots approach” to call on citizens to be active partners in the anti-drug campaign. He stressed that the public should help the government since the country’s illegal drug problem affects various sectors of society, especially the youth.
The Department of Interior and Local Government chief also stressed that their campaign was fueled by the recent arrest of some Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency officials allegedly involved in illegal drug operations.
The Bida program was launched under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in line with the government’s commitment to recalibrate the war on drugs, focusing instead on demand reduction and drug user rehabilitation. — Mae Anne F. Bilolo, trainee