Leody De Guzman says illegal drugs problem should be treated as health issue

Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2022 02:53 PM | Updated as of Jan 23 2022 10:57 PM

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MANILA — Partido Lakas ng Masa presidential aspirant Leody De Guzman on Saturday said the illegal drugs problem should be treated as a health issue. 

“Dapat nating ituloy ‘yung war on drugs, pero hindi sa paraan ng parang pagpatay o kaya ituring na mga kriminal. Ang ating turing sa war on drugs ay itrato ‘yung war on drugs bilang health problem, hindi bilang mga kriminal na tutugisin at huhuliin sa dulo,” he said in a Facebook live stream.

(We must continue the war on drugs but not in a way where people involved as killed or treated as criminals. Let us treat it as a health problem.)

De Guzman said the current situation shows that killings will not resolve the issue of drugs.

“Kasi hindi ako [para] roon sa war on drugs na patayan. Lalabas na tama ‘yung ating posisyon na hindi mare-resolve ng pagpatay. Tingnan mo, tuloy-tuloy ang pagpatay pero tuloy pa rin ang drugs.” 

(I am not in favor of killings in implementing the war on drugs. This shows that our position is correct that killings cannot resolve it. Look, the killings are continuous but the drugs problem also still persists.)

More than 6,200 drug suspects have died in anti-narcotics sting operations since Rodrigo Duterte took office in June 2016 until November 2021, government data showed. 

Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in September approved a formal investigation into Duterte's war on drugs. The ICC suspended the probe in November following a request by the Philippines, which cited its own investigations.

—with a report from Reuters