Army camps getting ready as rehab centers

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FORT Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija: The Philippine Army is readying at least seven major military camps as treatment and rehabilitation centers for surrendered drug suspects now numbering more than 120,000 all over the country.

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During his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the drug dependents will be accommodated in any of the military camps where rehab centers will be established.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon told The Manila Times that the putting up of the rehabilitation centers was taken up during a command conference presided by the President here on Tuesday.

For one, the Army is eyeing Fort Ramon Magsaysay in Palayan City here, being the largest military installation in the country.

Fort Magsaysay also has its own hospital.

Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, Central Luzon police regional director, said Fort Magsaysay is ideal for reforming and rehabilitating drug patients.

“It is big and placing a rehabilitation center there is ideal. Away from the city and the security mechanism there is excellent,” he pointed out.

Aside from Fort Magsaysay, another potential drug rehabilitation center is Camp Servillano Aquino in Tarlac.

Authorities are also considering Camp Tecson in San Miguel, Bulacan; Camp General Basilio Navarro in Western Zamboanga City; Camp Peralta in Capiz; and Camp Lapu-Lapu in Cebu.

Earlier, officials of the Provincial Peace and Order Council here convened and identified the governor’s guest house in Pantabangan town as an immediate rehabilitation center for Novo Ecijano drug dependents.

Meanwhile, Aquino said the Bahay Pagasa Reformation Center (as all government rehabilitation facilities are called) is being readied to address the immediate need to rehabilitate drug dependents.

He added that he is talking with local government units about funding for the center to sustain the facility and to possibly expand it to accommodate the surrendered drug dependents in the province.

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