Sotto: Lacson should be anti-drug czar

by Ria De Fiesta,

Posted at Jan 24 2014 11:35 PM | Updated as of Jan 25 2014 07:35 AM

MANILA -- Senator Tito Sotto said Friday that Panfilo "Ping" Lacson should be the country's anti-drugs czar because of his good track record in fighting crime.

"It's a thought, para matakot ang mga drug traffickers," Sotto told ANC Prime Time.

Alongside Lacson in the fight against illegal drugs, Sotto said, should be Bobby Ortega -- a former police chief in Baguio -- as head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), which the senator describes as "outgunned, outmanned and outfinanced."

Sotto, however, said has not communicated this thought to Lacson, who now heads the government's post-disaster rehabilitation efforts.

Asked if he has considered Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as part of the team, Sotto said, "Pwede rin. Pwede syang secretary of DILG."

Meanwhile, Sotto said all agencies involved in the campaign against illegal drugs are "on their toes."

"The bad news is that they are not using a holistic approach, even up to now. We cannot concentrate on enforcement alone. We have to give a lot of weight to rehabilitation, preventive education, to prosecution and to alternative development programs. Otherwise, we are going to be beaten," he said.

"Even if you remove all drugs in the Philippines, all the sahbu, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, designer drugs, if there are drug dependents, they will find syrup, rugby, or other substances to abuse. So prevention and rehabilitation is paramount," he added.

In a holistic approach, the senator said there will be a more concerted effort not only on enforcement alone. Concerned agencies know what to do now, but they need the people's help, he added.

"We just have to be concerted, give them enough help. Everybody -- the media, the school, the Church... should be involved, it cannot be just them," Sotto said.