Press Release
March 3, 2017

Cayetano: war on drugs necessary to end poverty

The war against drugs is also a war against poverty, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano stressed on Friday (March 3).

"Poverty alleviation ang isa sa haligi ng programa ng administrasyong Duterte. But you cannot deal with the problem on poverty and joblessness without dealing with the problem on drugs," he said in a press conference.

"Drugs put people in poverty. Drugs keep people in poverty," he added.

The senator issued this statement following a recent remark made by Vice President Leni Robredo urging President Rodrigo Duterte to focus instead on the "bigger war" against poverty and not on the anti-drug war.

Cayetano in response stressed that the war on drugs is part of the administration's comprehensive approach to get people out of poverty.

He pointed out how the poor are usually the primary victims of drug-related crimes and their communities are often the main targets of drug personalities.

"If you say stop the campaign against drugs, kapag tinigil niyo yan, mawawala ang criticism ng extrajudicial killings... Pero you will see more poor children being raped, more family members being killed by family members, and you will see more poverty," Cayetano said.

"There is no middle ground when it comes to the problem on drugs. Kailangan labanan mo talaga... Everyone knows that drugs are destroying lives," he added.

The senator had earlier called for the resumption of the government's anti-drug campaign and to turn it into the "people's war against drugs."

He stressed the need for a more holistic approach to sustain and intensify the government's initiative to end the drug menace, which he says threatens the people's security.

"The Philippines and the Filipinos can benefit more if the relaunching of the campaign against drugs involves everyone and if we look at it in a more holistic way," he said.

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