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Abalos on Marcos admin’s anti-drug campaign: No sacred cows

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos said Saturday there would be no sacred cows in the Marcos administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“For the next coming days, I assure you ganun ang ating approach, madugo ito, madugo [pero] hindi yung mamamatay ha,” Abalos said during the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City.

(For the next coming days, I assure you our approach will be bloody but not deadly.)

“Madugo dahil maraming makukulong at hindi natin sasantuhin maski sino pa itong mga taong ito. Kahit kabaro pa rito, pulis ka o kung sino ka man o PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) ka o sino ka man, talagang huli ka dito,” he added.

(There will be bloodshed because many people will be locked up and we won't have any sacred cows. You will be taken into custody whether you are a colleague, a police officer, or PDEA agent.)

Last month, the Marcos administration launched the “Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan” or BIDA program, which seeks to fight the drug problem through demand reduction and rehabilitation of persons who use illegal drugs.

In a statement on Thursday, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) welcomed the government's new strategy while also calling for an investigation into claims of abuses by the authorities.

“Genuine reform and policy shift also necessitate ascertaining [the] accountability of all perpetrators, including police personnel and liable officials, who are allegedly involved in killings related to the drug campaign in the previous and current administrations,” the CHR said.

“Parallel, sustained efforts in resolving the thousands of drug-related killings will demonstrate the government’s seriousness in giving justice to victims and curbing impunity.”

According to the DILG, since President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. assumed office in June, 22,646 drug personalities were arrested in 18,505 anti-illegal drug operations conducted by the Philippine National Police nationwide.

The PNP confiscated various illegal drugs valued at P9.7 billion during the operations, the DILG added. — VBL, GMA Integrated News