THE present situation is not helped any by reports that shabu and other prohibited drugs continue to enter the country 18 months before the end of the six-year Duterte presidency.
This despite the fact that President Rodrigo Duterte, who is set to leave Malacanang at 12 noon on June 30, 2022, is known for his “hard-line” campaign against the dreaded and deadly “drug monster.”
But Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque is still confident that the Chief Executive would still be able to fulfill his 2016 poll campaign promise of a “drug-free” Philippines before he steps down in 2022.
The campaign promise of President Duterte from impoverished Mindanao was to end the drug menace in six months, a timeline that he later on extended until the end of his presidency.
Roque made the statement after retired Gen. Catalino S. Cuy, chair of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), was reported to have said that achieving a drug-free Philippines “is no longer a realistic goal.”
The DDB is tasked to craft policies in dealing with illegal drugs, with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) under Director-General Wilkins M. Villanueva as its law enforcement arm.
Last week, President Duterte led the destruction of an estimated P7.51 billion worth of confiscated habit-forming substances and drug paraphernalia in Trece Martires City in Cavite.
During the event, Duterte urged the law enforcement forces, the prosecution service and the judiciary not to waver in efforts to end the menace that has caused immeasurable harm to the people.
We share the view of the Chief Executive that transforming the Philippines into a drug-free country is the greatest legacy that we can leave behind to our children and the succeeding generations.
In the view of many, including the ordinary citizens, slaying the dreaded “drug monster” means ensuring the future of this Southeast Asian nation of freedom-loving and English-speaking people.