• Speaker to push for drug-free Asean
    in inter-parliamentary assembly in July


    Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao del Norte will rally fellow Southeast Asian lawmakers to enact laws towards a drug-free Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) during the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) to be hosted by the Philippines next week.

    Alvarez is set to push for such stronger regional cooperation in the drive against illegal drugs in the 13th Meeting of the AIPA Fact-Finding Committee to Combat the Drug Menace to be held at the Conrad Hotel from July 4 to 8.

    Alvarez is expected to highlight the country’s gains in the anti-drug campaign—an initiative that has drawn flak here and abroad since it has resulted in the death of at least 7,000 people without trial or charges filed in court.

    Specifically, Alvarez will discuss the magnitude of the country’s drug problem, how the law enforcement is dealing with it, the existing drug control policies and laws, policy reforms, as well as preventive education and international cooperation programs, among others.

    Aside from Alvarez, there will be a presentation from representatives Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

    Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu of Batangas will present the Philippine Country Report in his capacity as head of the Philippine delegation while Rep. Robert Ace Barbers of Surigao del Norte will also be participating in the forum in his capacity as chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs.

    Likewise, regional reports will also be presented by delegations from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Asean Senior Officials on Drug Matters and the Asean Secretariat.

    The AIPA Assembly will adopt resolutions that would institute an AIPA Council on Dangerous Drugs; strengthen AIPA’s role and mandate as a parliamentary tool to combat dangerous drugs, as well as forge inclusive partnership towards a drug-free Asean community.


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