Press Release
June 25, 2018

Message of Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III
to the PDEA's 16th Anniversary Celebration

SA MGA OPISYALES, MGA KAWANI, AT LAHAT NG BUMUBUO SA PDEA: Magandang hapon sa inyong lahat... And Happy 16th Anniversary!

Alam nyo po kung gaano kalapit sa aking puso ang isyu ng droga, at kung paanong ang pagpuksa nito ay naging tatak ng aking paglilingkod sa ating Bayan.I feel so at home with all of you, sapagka't alam kong magkakatulad tayo sa ating maalab na emosyon laban sa salot na iyan ng ating lipunan.

First of all, I would like to congratulate all of you for the great work that you have been doing not only in the past two years, but throughout the 16 years that PDEA has been in existence. I was the Agency's Chairman when it celebrated its 6th year anniversary ten (10) years ago - PDEA was still fledging, and needing financial and budgetary support and cooperation among member agencies. Now, you have fully spread your wings and have achieved a lot. Like a father telling his children, I say this to all of you -- Well-done, everyone! I am mighty proud of what you have accomplished to combat what we all consider a menace, destroying not only our youth but our society as a whole.

The exact toll of the drug problem cannot be measured with accuracy because its biggest cost is not on the pockets alone, or on the national economy. Its most immense impact is on the minds and hearts of individuals and families.

So many Filipino lives have already been affected, damaged, and claimed, not least your own beloved colleagues - the drug enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty, sacrificing their own lives so that we can finally put an end to this huge problem that has pestered our nation for decades now.

Earlier, we honored these fallen officers in our wreath-laying ceremony. Allow me to take a moment now to verbally extol their bravery and sacrifice. Their heroic acts --- offered in the altar of drug eradication for national peace, safety and security --- will forever be etched in our collective consciousness, to serve as inspiration to keep going even when the challenges seem to be insurmountable.

Is there an end to all of these, our people ask. My answer is a resounding YES! The absolute resolution of the problem may not come as soon as we had hoped. But for as long as PDEA's men and women remain single-minded on the Agency's goal and focused on the enemy, I believe hopes will run high, support from different sectors will be extensive, and the tide will finally turn!

Whether or not you get the accolade that you deserve from the media or the public, the reward comes from knowing that you have done your best. And in doing your best, you will have saved not only families but an entire nation. And that will be the legacy of your work and your profession.

I personally admire and look up to all of you as fellow public servants. Hindi matatawaran ang papel na sama-sama ninyong ginagampanan sa ating lipunan. For this, our nation will forever be indebted.

Our Government and our people will be relying on all of you here at the PDEA to continue the war without let-up or rest! Your dreams for this nation are big, your courage even bigger! Thank you for this opportunity to grace your 16th Anniversary celebration.

Isang malaking karangalan ang makadaupang-palad kayo sa araw na ito at wakasan ang linggong ito kapiling ang mga makabagong bayaning tulad ninyo.

Mabuhay kayong lahat!

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