PNP looking at 'holistic approach' for war against drugs

Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 03 2022 05:52 PM

Fr. Flavie Villanueva, SVD condoles with family members of alleged extra-judicial killing (EJK) victims during a prayer service and the turnover of urns at the Shrine of the Divine Word, Christ the King Mission Seminary in Quezon City on Sept. 28, 2022. The service is part of Program Paghilom, a program that aims to help those orphaned by EJKs rebuild and re-create their lives. Jire Carreon, ABS-CBN News
Fr. Flavie Villanueva, SVD condoles with family members of alleged extra-judicial killing (EJK) victims during a prayer service and the turnover of urns at the Shrine of the Divine Word, Christ the King Mission Seminary in Quezon City on Sept. 28, 2022. The service is part of Program Paghilom, a program that aims to help those orphaned by EJKs rebuild and re-create their lives. Jire Carreon, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) is looking into possibly shifting its strategy in the war against drugs, its chief said on Monday. 

“It will be a holistic approach wherein every agency na kailangan ma-involve dito sa war on drugs will be presenting na kailangan sumama sila,” PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said in a press briefing at Camp Crame. 

(It will be a holistic approach wherein every agency that needs to be involved in the war on drugs will be presenting.)

Azurin said the drug problem was one of the topics discussed during his recent visit in Hawaii where he attended the annual Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board at Camp H.M. Smith. 

He said other issues that were raised included the need for good intelligence sharing, specifically on transnational crimes.

“Kasi naging borderless na halos with the advent of technology. So wala na boundary actually. So there is a need na baguhin natin yung stratehiya natin as far as yung exchange of information is concerned. So ang isa diyan is of course yung war on drugs na kailangan may mag-level up na rin tayo,” Azurin said. 

(It has become almost borderless with the advent of technology, so there is no longer any boundary. There is a need for us to change our strategy as far as the exchange of information is concerned. That includes the war. on drugs, where we also need to level up.) 

He said authorities are looking at the model employed by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), where agencies concerned will be part of a group looking for solutions to reduce the supply and demand for narcotics. 

Government data show some 6,200 people have died in police anti-drug operations since former President Rodrigo Duterte was swept to power in 2016.

Rights groups say Duterte created a climate of impunity and estimate that tens of thousands have been killed by police, hitmen and vigilantes, even without proof they were involved in drugs. But police say suspects were killed because they fought back. 

Duterte pulled the Philippines out of the International Criminal Court in 2019 after it began a preliminary probe into the crackdown. His successor President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ruled out rejoining.

 — With a report from Agence France-Presse 

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