Press Release
May 9, 2017

Cayetano: 'shabu,' violent crimes interrelated in PH context

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano appealed to members of the United Nations Human Rights Center (UNHRC) to recognize the relationship of illegal drugs, especially methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, with violent crimes and poverty in order to understand the Philippine situation.

Cayetano on Monday (May 8) explained to the UN Body the extent of drug-related crimes by showing video clips and news reports of gruesome cases in highly urbanized areas in the country, where the perpetrators were mostly high on illegal drugs.

"There was impunity during the previous administration, but it was from the criminals and from the drug lords," Cayetano said as he described the incidents in the previous years.

The senator pointed out that in many cases of heinous crimes in the country, the suspects are usually confirmed users of shabu. He further cited a technical brief by the World Health Organization (WHO), which cited violence as among the physical consequences of the use of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) like methamphetamine.

"The World Health Organization pointed out that the dependence and chronic usage of ATS is associated with psychosis and causes cognitive impairment, aggression and violence, and social and family disruption," he said, citing a WHO document on the consequences of substance abuse.

"The Filipinos have witnessed how the use of illegal drugs like methamphetamine led to violence and destroyed the lives of many," he added.

Cayetano was reacting to a recent statement delivered by an American doctor during a drug policy forum in the Philippines, saying there is no evidence that shabu causes violence. The statement was reposted by UN rapporteur Agnes Callamard in her social media account.

"Illegal drugs can easily destroy a whole generation," Cayetano said in his opening statement before UNHRC members.

He cited that young people are the most vulnerable to the temptation and evils of prohibited drugs.

"It is projected that we will have 32.7 million Filipinos aged 14 and below, or 31% of our population," Cayetano said, citing Philippine Statistics Authority data.

The senator reiterated that the people's campaign against illegal drugs is pursued to preserve the lives of the Filipino people and prevent the country from turning into a Narco-State.

He assured the Body of the Duterte government's dedication to effect bold reforms in ending the country's drug problem, particularly the prevalence of shabu within Filipino communities.

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