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Bill filed to rehab drug convicts

/ 05:18 AM May 08, 2015

MANILA, Philippines–A retired police general has filed a bill in the House of Representatives seeking to subject to automatic rehabilitation criminal offenders found to be dependent on illegal substances—to be paid for by the suspect.

Under House Bill No. 4451, ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Samuel Pagdilao has proposed mandatory drug rehabilitation for arrested offenders, citing the large number of drug addicts and dependents in the country’s jails.

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“Drug addiction is considered one of the evils of today’s society that affects not only the peace and order but also destroys the physical and moral well-being of our people,” Pagdilao said in the explanatory note to the bill.

Despite efforts of law-enforcement agencies to curb the drug menace, illegal drug activities continue to escalate, along with drug-related crimes, said Pagdilao, who formerly headed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police.

He said there were two dominant views on how to manage drug addiction: first, as a disease that should be treated and prevented, and second, as a crime that should be dealt with through penalties under the criminal justice system.

“It is clear that the latter approach has dominated the way government has handled drug addiction,” Pagdilao said.

But the use of threats and sanctions have not really been effective, as reflected by the growing statistics on drug use in the country, he said.

“As a result, drug-dependent offenders have increasingly populated jails and prisons. Conversely, crimes involving illegal drugs have also risen. Hence, it is now time that the first approach be given an equal opportunity to address the problem of illegal drugs,” Pagdilao said.–DJ Yap

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TAGS: drug convicts, House bill, Illegal drugs, Philippines, Samuel Pagdilao
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