CEBU CITY -- Former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa has urged over a thousand local government officials, barangay officials, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) members, and teachers in Tuburan, Cebu to support the Duterte administration’s war against drugs.
“We are facing a faceless enemy with unlimited resources,” dela Rosa said during the whole-day Anti-Drug and Peace and Order Summit 2018 in Tuburan town on Saturday.
“Lisud kaayo kini nga gubat. Lisud kaayo kini nga giyera (This is a very difficult war),” dela Rosa said in a rousing speech at the town’s covered court.
Summit host Tuburan Mayor-on-leave Democrito "Aljun" Diamante said successful anti-drug campaign and peace and stability are keys to development.
As the president of the League of Municipalities (LMP) in Cebu, Diamante said the summit in Tuburan is the first in the province.
Present during the summit to give updates on anti-drug activities in the rest of the province and the region were Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, Maj. Gen. Noel S. Clement of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command, Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman of the Department of Trade and Industry, and Julius D. Gutierrez, executive and chief operating officer of the National Youth Commission.
Gutierrez, who is also the national coordinator of the SAP Bong Go for Youth organization, likewise met with the elected SK leaders of Tuburan.
In a separate press conference, dela Rosa also noted weak laws, especially the absence of the death penalty for convicted drug traffickers.
For the former PNP and Bureau of Corrections chief, summary executions or extra-judicial killings are illegal and people behind these should be punished. The return of the death penalty is the only legal way to kill criminals, he said.
But dela Rosa also noted the recent victories of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) against illegal drugs. In less than one month, CCPO chief Senior Supt. Royina Garma said police operations netted over PHP95 million worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.
The latest successful operation was the seizure of PHP36.3 million worth of illegal drugs in an anti-drug operation in Sambag 2 last Friday.
The success of anti-drug operations in Cebu, meanwhile, has pleased the Visayas chapter of Kilusang Pagbabago (KP), the grassroots movement of supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a statement, KP Visayas lead convenor Doris Mongaya said the current victories in the war on drugs deserve the moral support and praise of ordinary citizens.
The movement is now preparing for a Visayas-wide caravan expressing support for the administration’s war on drugs, as well as candidates, who advocate federalism like former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Bong Go, dela Rosa, and Maguindanao (2nd District) Rep. Dong Mangudadato.
For the KP Visayas convenor, victories in the war against drugs and in promoting federalism are important elements of poverty alleviation. (PNA)