Palace backs conversion of mega drug rehab center to academy 


MALACAÑANG supports a proposal to convert the 10,000-bed mega drug rehabilitation center in Nueva Ecija into a Drug Enforcement Academy, President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman said on Thursday.

“We welcome the suggestion of Senator Vicente Sotto 3rd on the mega drug rehabilitation and treatment center in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija. If you would recall, the 10,000-bed mega-facility was built for the recovery and treatment of drug addicts in the country.  However, from the beginning, we, particularly our health officials, do not envision this to be a permanent structure,” Secretary Harry Roque said.

Sotto made the proposal after then Dangerous Drugs Board Chief Dionisio Santiago described 75,000-hectare facility “a mistake” and an “impractical solution” to the drug menace.

Santiago said the funds for the facility should have been spent for small-scale rehabilitation centers at the barangay (village) level where there was family support for drug dependents wishing to change their ways.

President Rodrigo Duterte eventually fired Santiago for “blabbering” about the drug facility.

“Our long-term vision is once the drug problem has been resolved, this can be turned over to the military who owns the land or other agencies of government that can utilize, manage and optimize the facility,” Roque said. LLANESCA T. PANTI




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