Press Release
September 30, 2020

Bong Go supports PDEA and DDB proposed 2021 budgets; urges agencies to intensify anti-illegal drugs campaign

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go gave his support for the proposed budgets of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Dangerous Drugs Board which have the common goal of addressing the proliferation of illegal drugs and drug-related crimes in the country.

During a budget hearing held by the Senate Committee on Finance on September 29, Go urged PDEA to ensure that all drug-related issues are being dealt with accordingly. He stressed the importance of the campaign to President Rodrigo Duterte who has repeatedly called for the eradication of illegal drug activities in the country.

"Importante po kay Pangulong Duterte na ma-eliminate itong problema natin sa droga. Sa nalalabing panahon po niya bilang pangulo, we have to be relentless and intensify our operations against illegal drugs, our campaign against illegal drugs. Sugpuin ninyo ang mga organisasyon at mga sindikato na involved sa illegal na droga," Go said in his manifestation.

"Alam po ito ni [PDEA] Director General Wilkins Villanueva, matagal po siyang nanungkulan sa Davao noon. And, of course, mas alam po ng ating Chairman [Panfilo Lacson], kung paano sugpuin ang illegal na droga," he continued.

Go acknowledged, however, that anti-illegal drug operations are just one aspect of a multifaceted solution to a complex problem, the other being recovery and rehabilitation.

He lamented about the lives being destroyed by illegal drugs and called for drug dependents to be treated as victims in dire need of medical, psychological and spiritual help. He insisted on giving them a chance to recover and be reintegrated into society as healthy and productive citizens.

Consequently, the government's ultimate goal must be to eliminate the negative impacts of drug abuse in society while implementing sustainable programs of treatment and rehabilitation as an integral part of the unrelenting campaign against illegal drugs.

As chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go has made the rehabilitation and treatment of drug dependents a legislative priority. Last year, he filed Senate Bill No. 399 which mandates the establishment of a drug treatment and rehabilitation center in every province in the country. He also defended the Department of Health's 2020 budget and supported an increase in the budget for the operation of the treatment and rehabilitation centers as proposed then by Senate President Tito Sotto.

In past years, President Duterte inaugurated several drug rehabilitation centers, including in the provinces of Bukidnon and Nueva Ecija. Through the initiative of Senator Cynthia Villar and her family, the government was able to establish a drug rehabilitation center in Las Piñas. Go expressed his fervent hope that the centers would help drug dependents pick up pieces of their lives that had fallen apart.

On this note, the Senator urged the DDB, the body responsible for planning and formulating policies and programs on drug prevention and control, to work closely with DOH in order for the government to completely succeed in its efforts against the evils brought about by illegal drugs, and to cure victims of the addiction.

Earlier this year, he backed calls for the reimposition of the death penalty after President Duterte reiterated his desire for the swift passage of a law reviving the death penalty by lethal injection for heinous crimes specified under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Go filed SBN 207 in 2019 which seeks to amend Republic Act 9346, signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in June 2006, which abolished the death penalty as punishment in the Philippines. The proposed measure aims to reimpose the capital punishment for heinous crimes involving illegal drugs and plunder if passed.

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