We are winning the war on drugs

THE mainstream tri-media, generally based in Metro Manila, continue to be fixated with reports and commentaries on casualties of the war on drugs, as if it is what the war on drugs is all about. It isn’t.

What the national media refuse to report on are the positive impact of the war on drugs.

Noted that at the height of the brouhaha over the death of Kian delos Santos, Manila media ignored the fact that as of March 1, 2017 some 1,179,462 drug pushers (79,349) and users (1,110,113) have surrendered and 53,025 high value targets have been arrested. This means the war effectively reduced the daily serious threats of violence to communities and families from 1,232,487 drug affected Filipinos.

Closer to home, Pangasinan, one of the country’s most densely populated province, there are 1,194 barangays out of the originally 1,277 drug-affected barangays, are already certified clear of high value targets (HVT) and shabu labs.

In Dagupan City, once considered the hotbed of illegal drugs not only in Pangasinan but in Region 1, only two barangays remain to be cleared of drug activities. In Urdaneta City, known then as the major transshipment point of illegal drugs in Central and Northern Luzon, 26 out of 34 barangays are already declared unaffected.

The government is winning the war. We are winning the war.

As in any war to crush the evil, casualties are inevitable but these cannot stand in the way of winning the war. But this is not to say that abuses have to be condoned. These must be punished, there can be no compromises there.

Given these, noting the irrefutable benefits to families and communities, The PUNCH squarely supports the war on drugs.


Crowning glory

IT is a challenge. That’s all there is to it.  We refer to President Duterte’s statements this week that he would soon recover the ill-gotten wealth stashed away by the late President Marcos during his 14-year dictatorship. Mr. Duterte said the recovery of the supposed loot would include gold bars that are reportedly scattered in clandestine bank deposits all around the world.  But when interviewed, Imee Marcos, Marcos’ eldest of three children and now the governor of Ilocos Norte, was evasive.  She simply said, in answer to queries regarding Mr. Duterte’s revelation, “that is the job of lawyers.  I cannot comment on that.”  It’s been more than three decades since Marcos was kicked out of power.  His wealth had been frozen, mostly found in Swiss banks. Should the government succeed in recovering Marcos’ stolen billions, it would be the crowning glory of Mr. Duterte’s reign.

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