Solon calls for biannual review of anti-drug campaign

MANILA-- A lawmaker at the House of Representatives on Wednesday called for a biannual review of the administration's campaign against illegal hard drugs to ensure safeguard mechanisms against abuses committed by law enforcement agents.

In a statement, Siquijor Representative Rav Rocamora urged the government to fine-tune its anti-drug campaign every six months through an assessment on the following: reduction of the drug supply, prosecution of drug personalities, government's rehabilitation programs, compliance with civil and human rights, and possible corruption and illegal activities on the part of law enforcers.

Rocamora made the call following recent reports of another "tanim droga" case involving Wilgelmo Galura, a government employee in Bacolor City, Pampanga who accused cops of planting drugs as evidence against him.

These incidents are becoming too frequent and are happening in different places. We have to determine if the problem is with simply with a few bad apples or the entire barrel is becoming more rotten, Rocamora said.

"The only way to do that is if we conduct a regular multi-stakeholder assessment of the Drug War and from there do the necessary reforms and changes to achieve our goal of combating the drug menace and protecting the rights and interests of innocent citizens, he added.

The periodic assessment, which is participatory in nature, shall include participants from various sectors including local government units, law enforcement officials, civil society, people's organization, and human rights organizations.

It would be a sign of goodwill, a rapprochement, on the part of government if we allow the public to take part in such an assessment and to help in crafting recommendations to improve our campaign against illegal drugs, he said.

We are all affected by the blight of illegal drugs. The only enemies in this war are the drug lords. If we continue to refuse any and all recommendations to improve this war our version of the drug war will join the long list of other failed drug wars, he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency