Press Release
March 3, 2017

Cayetano wants more 'holistic approach' to anti-drug war

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano called for a more holistic and comprehensive approach to the people's war against drugs following the administration's decision to relaunch its anti-drug campaign.

In a press conference on Friday (March 3), the senator clarified that his earlier call was not just for the resumption of the Philippine National Police (PNP)'s "Oplan Tokhang." His call, he stressed, was for the government to continue its campaign against illegal drugs and turn it into the people's war against drugs.

"I did not say we should relaunch Oplan Tokhang. I said we should relaunch the war on drugs and make it the people's war against drugs. Let us make it more comprehensive... Everybody should have a role," he said.

The senator appealed to all sectors in society to take part in the government's fight to end the drug menace, which he said threatens the people's safety and victimizes the poor.

"I-explain dapat natin kung ano ang role ng bawat isa - ng law enforcers, ng mga magulang, ng Simbahan, ng Health department... There is much more to be done and we need all the help we can get," he said.

The senator once again defended the President's anti-drug initiative following accusations that the Duterte administration is behind the alleged drug-related extrajudicial killings in the country.

Contrary to what is being portrayed in the international and local media, Cayetano said the President has never condoned any form of abuse in the implementation of his anti-drug program.

"What we're saying is human security is a must and extrajudicial killings are not State sponsored," he stressed.

Cayetano said the criticisms thrown against the government are often due to the confusion with the facts and figures being gathered on the ground.

"Obviously, may gustong mag-exaggerate ng facts to stop the drug war," he said. "Kung hihimayin talaga ang facts, hindi malayo ang nangyayaring patayan during the Aquino administration sa Duterte administration," he pointed out.

The senator said the Church and media outlets are welcome to continue exposing incidents of abuses by rogue policemen in the midst of the anti-drug campaign.

"But we have to separate legitimate issues from politics. Iba ang intention na ayusin ang police operations sa intention na tanggalin ang Presidente," he clarified.

"The Philippines can benefit if the war on drugs is more comprehensive and if people look at human rights in a more holistic way," Cayetano intoned.

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