Press Release
April 13, 2016


Calling drugs a threat to national security, independent vice-presidential bet Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero said he and his presidential running mate, Sen. Grace Poe, will use the entire government force including the military to combat narcotics, should they get elected on May 9.

"Gagamitin po namin ang buong pwersa ng gobyerno, hindi lamang pulis o PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency), kabilang na ang Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas, para masawata ang problema sa droga," Escudero told a press conference in vote-rich Laguna recently.

Poe and Escudero, who are running under the banner "Gobyernong may Puso," have vowed to prioritize in their agenda the war against narcotics and will mobilize all the resources of the state to fight illegal drugs as a matter of policy.

"Itinuturing po naming threat to national security ang problema ng droga. Ito'y hindi simpleng talumpati kundi polisiya. Kapag sinabi nyong threat to national security ang problema sa droga, ginagawa na po namin ang unang importanteng hakbang sa pagresolba ng problemang ito--ang pag-amin ng gobyerno na problema na ang droga sa Pilipinas," the veteran lawmaker pointed out.

"Sa mga nagdaang administrasyon, nagkikibit-balikat lamang sila kaugnay ng problema sa droga. Kami po, inaamin namin problemang malaki ito at threat to national security na ito," he added.

The Bicolano legislator said their campaign against narcotics will begin in government workplace by weeding out public officials and employees who are involved in drugs.

He said they will impose a mandatory drug testing of all civil servants, from the president down to the lowest clerk, as he warned that those involved in illegal drugs will be dealt with severely.

"Bawal ang adik, bawal ang tulak sa gobyerno. Hindi dapat magkaroon ng 'ni isa na adik o tulak sa gobyerno dahil paano mo lilinisin ang bakuran ng kapitbahay mo kung sariling bakuran ng gobyerno napakadumi din pala. Una naming lilinisin ang gobyerno bago namin linisin ang bawat barangay at bawat bakuran sa ating bansa," Escudero said.

The Philippines has one of the highest rates of methamphetamine use in Asia, with an estimated 960,000 or about 2 percent of the adult population using the drug popularly known as "shabu," data from the UN Transnational Crime Report in 2013.

According to PDEA, around 20 percent or 8,400 of the country's 42,000 barangay are drug-affected, meaning they host a user, pusher, producer or cultivator or other drug personality.

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