BAGUIO CITY – Drug suspects in numerous puroks and barangays nationwide will be shepherded and taken cared of by the government and their neghborhood and that they will not be condoned, Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Mike Sueno said here Sunday.
Secretary Sueno, who was the city’s guest of honor and speaker during the grand float parade, said contrary to the perception of international human rights organizations against the on-going marking of the houses of residents not involved in the illegal drug trade, those drug suspects will continue to be taken cared of and shepherded by concerned government agencies and even their neighbors as part of the overall synchronized approach to curbing the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.
“We were caught by surprise why international human rights organizations are harping at our humane approach against drug suspects in the different puroks and barangays when the drug suspects will not be condoned but instead taken cared of,” Secretary Sueno stressed.
He explained if there are 20 households in a certain purok and there are 15 households that are considered to be not involved in drugs, then drug free stickers will be stuck in their residences while the houses of those 5 households that have been pinpointed to be involved in illegal drugs will have no stickers.
According to him, the 5 households with drug suspects will not be condoned by the community but instead taken cared of and shepherded through the various interventions of government with the support of their neighbors so that they will slowly be brought back to mainstream society after they have abandoned their engagement with the illegal drug trade.
Secretary Sueno claimed the Duterte administration’s stickering campaign is far more humane compared to the shame campaign of former Manila City Mayor Alfredo S. Lim whereby the houses of identified drug suspects were painted just to help significantly reduce the supply of drugs in the country’s capital city during his term.
Secretary Sueno rallied local officials to support the government’s approach to curb the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country in addition to the campaign of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to go after identified drug suspects to have a drug free Philippines could be realized even before this administration will end its term.
He added the government will continue consulting with the various sectors of society to solicit their inputs on how to improve the campaign against the illegal drugs to achieve lasting peace as illegal drugs had been identified as one of the root causes of criminality in the different parts of the country.
Earlier, Sueno met with the various officers of the Regional Peace and Order Councils from all over the country to discuss new strategies to sustain the campaign against illegal drugs following the removal of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation from the implementing the government’s anti-drug campaign.
By Dexter A. See