MANILA – Newly-installed Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) co-chairperson Dante Jimenez on Tuesday backed the call for the reinstatement of the death penalty for drug offenders in the country.
In a press conference with Palace reporters, Jimenez said he would ask President Rodrigo Duterte to make as a “priority bill” the proposed re-imposition of the death penalty to deter drug personalities from committing the unlawful act of selling narcotics.
“Importante ‘yun (Making it a priority bill is important) because this is the one penalty that would be able to institute fear among these illegal drug lords. That’s why nandito lahat ng mga drug lord. Dito sa Pilipinas pumupunta dahil walang death penalty dito (We currently don’t have a death penalty, that’s why drug lords are here in the Philippines),” he said.
Jimenez, who also concurrently leads the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, welcomed his new designation as ICAD co-chair by signing his acceptance letter with his own blood.
He took the position previously offered to Vice President Leni Robredo who earlier claimed that Duterte’s anti-narcotics campaign is a “massive failure.”
Jimenez defended the government’s war on illegal drugs, saying Robredo’s claim was “false.”
“Let us disprove the peddled, yet unfounded, claim that the government’s war on illegal drugs is a ‘massive failure.’ In fact, it is the strong support for the war on illegal drugs that has been critical in the immense public support for the President,” he said.
Jimenez was confident that he and his ICAD co-chair, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino, would have good teamwork.
He also vowed that during his stint at ICAD, he would exhaust all efforts to destroy illegal drugs “by all means.”
“I have seen and felt the disastrous effects of the illegal drug trade on many families, and its real threat to the future of our country. It is a mistake to ignore its potential to destroy an entire nation,” Jimenez said.
Duterte on February 21 appointed Jimenez as co-chair of ICAD.
ICAD, created through Executive Order 15 inked by Duterte on Mar. 6, 2016, is directed to ensure the implementation of all policies, laws, and issuances on anti-narcotics campaign in an “integrated and synchronized manner.”
The latest data from PDEA revealed that a total of 228,678 drug personalities have been arrested since Duterte waged a war on illegal drugs on July 1, 2016 until Jan.31, 2020.
Some 508,364 drug suspects have surrendered to authorities, while 5,601 have been killed due to their resistance during the arrest. (PNA)