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Home Columns Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. GMA Advised to Give Up Role as Anti-Drug Czar
GMA Advised to Give Up Role as Anti-Drug Czar PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - This Week With Nene Pimentel
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 16:20

 

S enate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said he does not think it’s proper for President Gloria  Macapagal  Arroyo  to   assume the role  as anti-drug czar, even on a  temporary capacity, because  there  are so many other  pressing  problems of the country that  needs her attention and action.

 

Senator Pimentel said the government can effectively address the illegal drug menace by giving the law enforcement agencies concerned the necessary resources that it needs fulfill its tasks.

 

 “If the focus of the President is the drug problem, that may be nice to hear. But that is only one aspect of her job. She has to give due attention to other acute problems of the nation,” he said.

 
Editor's Note: To view a related story--albeit a humorous and satirical one--please click on this link:-President Arroyo Gets New Title of “Czarina” 

 

"And therefore, in my view, it is better that she does not do that, and give it (the lead role in the anti-drug campaign) to some other people.”

 

He said it cannot be said that there are no capable individuals who can effectively oversee the crackdown on illegal drugs and produce the desired results.

 

S enator Pimentel pointed out that if the logic of Mrs. Arroyo’s assumption as anti-drug czarina is to ensure decisive action, then it follows that she should also serve as czar in the war against corruption, poverty and unemployment, which are perhaps more severe than the drug problem.

 

He expressed the belief that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency is being effectively led by Director General Dionisio Santiago but he should be fully supported from the government in terms of funds, manpower and equipment.

 

For instance, Senator Pimentel noted that PDEA has been complaining of lack the funds to meet its manpower needs, forcing it to “borrow” officers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines to act as anti-narcotics agents or operatives.

 

He expressed disagreement with the suggestion of certain quarters for the PDEA operatives involved in the drug buy-bust operations against the “Alabang Boys” to go on leave, similar to the order to the government prosecutors, while the allegations of bribery are being investigated.

 

“I think that is just a ploy to deflect public attention. With the agencies concerned quarrelling, what will now happen to the case against the suspects?  I think that is being suggested to favor the well-to-do in the Alabang Boys’ drug case,” the minority leader said.

 

Senator Pimentel stressed that the PDEA people should be supported but not to the extent of turning a blind eye on any violations of law that they may have committed.  But he said whoever has any complaint against them should come out openly and present credible evidence.

 

He dared the government prosecutors involved who have threatened to resign from the anti-narcotics task force not only to make good on their threat but to quit from the service for good if they have committed any wrongdoing.

 

“But those who are innocent should stay put. But those who have not done anything wrong should challenge the 'forced leave' order issued to them.  If they are really innocent, they should fight it out.” # # #

 



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Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 16:21
 

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