Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said the next administration should ramp up the campaign against illegal drugs and crime.
“I think the priorities of the next administration should be what people are worried about,” Marcos added.
He noted that a recent survey showed illegal drugs and crime ranks first and fifth, respectively, among concerns of ordinary people.
“Too often, many of these crimes turn out to be drug-related,” Marcos said.
He added that according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), more than 20 percent of the total of 42,029 barangay (villages) nationwide had drug-related cases last year, with the National Capital Region (Metro Manila) having the highest rate of drug-affected barangay at 92 percent.
Also, Marcos said crime rate rose by more than three times from 2010 to 2014 based on annual reports of the Philippine Statistics Authority.
The reports showed that total crimes in 2014 reached 1.16 million cases compared to 324,083 cases in 2010.
“Last August, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported that the number of crimes has gone up by almost 50 percent in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, or a total crime volume of 888,445 compared to 603,085 cases for the same period last year,” the senator said.
The PNP “later claimed that there was actually a 1- percent reduction in the crime rate for the period as only 509,924 cases were verified as valid. No matter what the correct figure is, it is undeniable that incidences of crime remain high,” Marcos added.
With respect to the drug problem, Marcos said law enforcement authorities must set their sights on big-time drug syndicates and drug lords.
“But, we also have to increase the capability of our law enforcers. We have to support them with training, with facilities, and with funding,” he said.
Marcos pointed out that additional support for law enforcers should be coupled with an honest-to-goodness effort to go after crooked officers involved in criminal activities.
“We have to discipline them. We have to investigate them. If need be, we have to change the systems so these crimes would not happen again,” he said.