THE campaign against illegal drugs of the previous administration was unsuccessful because intelligence funds were mainly used for the reward program of the government, Philippine National Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa said Thursday.
According to De la Rosa, the PNP has a substantial intelligence kitty but the previous administration used most of the money to reward tipsters who gave information for the capture of suspected terrorists and criminals.
“If you want really want to have a high success rate on your intelligence operations, you should allocate more fund to the operating units on the ground and not limit it on rewards,” the PNP chief said.
He issued the statement when he was asked by Sen. Leila de Lima during the organizational hearing of Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s committee on public order and dangerous drugs if he thinks the previous administration had been negligent in fighting illegal drugs.
“I’m not saying that the previous administration had been negligent but this I can tell you frankly, with all honesty, the police are more encouraged, more motivated to do their job because we have a President who is determined to stop the drug menace,” De la Rosa said.
Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito during the hearing asked the Department of Interior and Local Government if local government units have their respective programs to help drug surrenderers from going back to the habit.
“LGUs are the first line of agency in the government and I believe they could play a very big role in the campaign against drugs. They could actually assist the Philippine National Police in the continuous rehabilitation of surrenderers like providing for cash-for-work program,” Ejercito said.
Senator Juan Edgardo Angara also sees the need for local officials to take a more active role in eradicating the drug problem since they have information on the drug situation in their area.
“We must ensure that LGUs will not put aside their crucial role in the enforcement of our drug laws, maintenance of peace and order, rehabilitation of drug dependents, and initiation of preventive and educational programs against drug abuse up to the barangay level,” said Angara, chairman of the Senate committee on local government.
Based on the latest data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, 531,621 drug users and pushers surrendered from June 30 to July 29 this year.