Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Terence Calatrava cited yesterday the importance of collaborative efforts among government and private stakeholders in the fight against illegal drugs as espoused by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.
“What we now recognize as equally crucial in our nation’s fight against illegal drugs are collaborative partnerships between key government agencies and active engagement of stakeholders to sustain the success we have achieved,” Calatrava said during his keynote speech at the Negros Oriental Convention Center in Dumaguete City.
“This [is the] kind of partnership that [the President] urges us to embrace, a partnership that places compassion for human rights and the life of every person at its fore,” he added.
Calatrava was the guest of honor and speaker during the Sustained Barangay Drug Clearing Multi-Sectoral and Workplace Resiliency with Transparency and Integrity Program spearheaded by the Philippine National Police (PNP).
He noted that the illegal drug trade and substance abuse is a menace that continues to affect countless Filipino families and “threatens the safety and well-being of our loved ones.”
Combating the illegal drug trade requires effective law enforcement to complement it “so we can set the example of our partnership based on the values and principles that our president wants us to embrace.”
Meanwhile, Lt. General Rodel Sermonia, deputy PNP chief for administration, called on barangay officials to support the Transparency and Integrity Program, noting their key role in nation building.
Sermonia said that following the March 4 assassination of Governor Roel Degamo at his home in the province’s Pamplona town, the PNP implemented three major policies to improve the organization and its workforce.
He was referring to the internal disciplinary mechanism policy; police operational procedures, which sometimes are overlooked during the course of police operations; and the doctrine of command responsibility.
During the course of the Senate investigation of the Degamo murder and other shooting incidents in the province, the PNP organization came under flak after some police personnel were implicated in the crimes or had failed in their investigation and other responsibilities.
“To the members of society here, from all sectors of the community, I urge each and every one of you to take part in our Transparency and Integrity Program because we want all of you from all sectors to help us advocate the internal discipline of our police personnel,” he said in mixed English and Filipino.
Sermonia also called for the expansion of the barangay drug clearing program to the sectoral level to boost the anti-drug abuse campaign, as well as help promote global police community relations.
A symposium on the Barangay Drug-Clearing Program was held earlier in the day with updates being given on the Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan campaign that involves local government units, national government agencies and other sectors for a wider approach to fighting the illegal drug problem.
The activity was also highlighted by the signing of an agreement between stakeholders, government agencies, and the Anti-Crime Coalition for Peace and Progress International (ACCPPI), a people’s organization in partnership with the PNP. (PNA)