Drug problem a high priority – Malacañang


MALACAÑANG said addressing the worsening problem on illegal drugs is a “high priority” as it gave its full support to law enforcement agencies in the “all-out” campaign against drug trafficking.

In a press briefing on Thursday, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said they are open to all suggestions and legislative proposals that would help curb the problem of illegal drugs, especially in the light of the supposed entry of Mexican drug cartel members into the country.

“We are open to stricter measures… the PDEA [Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency] and other law enforcement agencies have a clear direction and it’s their all-out campaign against drug trafficking in the country,” Coloma said.

The official said the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) will enhance its x-rays and other high-tech equipment that are needed to beef up anti-drug efforts in airports and seaports.

“This will help in the campaign against drugs. We consider that a high priority,” Coloma stressed.

Anti-narcotics agents on Wednesday raided a methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu laboratory in the wealthy district of The Fort in Taguig City where they seized some P100 million worth of drugs and chemicals and arrested two Canadians who are believed to have links to the Sinaloa drug cartel.

“It only shows that our government is responding promptly to the alleged existence and presence of illegal drug trafficking activities. Our law enforcement agencies will heighten their efforts to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country,” Coloma said.

Last Christmas, agents of the PDEA, Anti-Illegal Drugs-Special Operations Task Force, the National Bureau of Investigation and the military swooped down on a lair of the drug cartel in Lipa City, Batangas province where they seized 84 kilos of high-grade shabu believed to have been supplied by the Mexican “joint venture” partners of Chinese drug lords here.

Sources from these anti-drug agencies claimed that there is an ongoing competition among Africans, Chinese and Mexicans for control of the local drug market. The Philippines is said to be the best transshipment point of illegal drugs from both “East and West” because of its favorable geographical location.

Lawmakers have proposed two controversial measures in Congress, which they believe could deter the entry of illegal drugs and traffickers in the country— the wiretapping of drug suspects and death penalty for foreign drug traffickers.

But Coloma said the President and the Cabinet have yet to discuss these proposals.
“As we speak now, it has not been discussed,” he told reporters.



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