The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday vowed a “strong finish” against illegal drugs in the remaining eight months of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s term.
At the weekly virtual press conference of the National Task Force to End Local Communists Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), PNP Directorate for Operation Chief, Major General Rhodel Sermonia, said the PNP is bent on a “strong finish” against illegal drugs, citing continuous police operations that resulted in the seizure of voluminous amounts of illegal drugs worth millions and even billions of pesos.
“We will deliver a strong finish in the drug war. If we will have a decisive victory against communist insurgents, we will have a strong finish with a happy ending in the drug war,” Sermonia said.
He said their goal can be achieved with the help of everyone just in time when Duterte will end his term in June next year.
The drive against “demand and supply reduction” approach in illegal drugs, Sermonia said, is in line with PNP goals as outlined by Duterte himself — good governance and better services — that illegal drugs dependent be treated and drug-peddlers be jailed and punished.
“In the PNP, our basis of war against depends on two tactical approaches. This is supply reduction, which basically manifest into anti-illegal drugs operations — the buy bust operation, neutralizationof illegal drug (syndicates). Demand reduction, which basically redounds into the operationalization of community relations program in partnership with different government agencies and non-government organizations,” he explained partly in Filipino.
He said the Barangay Anti-Drug Advisory Council (BADAC), which was hampered by the pandemic, will have to be reactivated to boost the fight against illegal drugs.
“We will have them (BADAC) work and make it operational again, with the help of advocacies’ group,” Sermonia said referring to the Coalition of Lingkod Bayan Advocacy Group now working with the Duterte Legacy Barangayanihan Caravan, showcasing the various projects and programs delivered by the Administration to the people, including the war on drugs.
BADAC, he added, is a very important part of fighting illegal drugs, as it identifies the ‘drug users and pushers in every community.
He said it also handles the recovery and wellness program for former drug-dependents who were treated, including the giving of ‘skills training” for them to go back to normalcy and be accepted by their community.
Sermonia also warned policemen who are involved in illegal drugs.“If you are a policeman who are involved in illegal drugs, you’re done as policeman. You are now subject of the PNP manhunt and interdiction operations,” he added.