The latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showing that majority of Filipinos believe there are now fewer drug users in their communities is an indication of the effectiveness of the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs, reelectionist Senator Aquilino Pimentel III said on Monday.
Pimentel said only the toughest criminals would have the courage to be involved in illegal drug activities now that the current administration has intensified its efforts to eradicate these narcotics.
“Delikado na ma-involve sa drugs ngayon. Kaya ang pinakamatapang na kriminal na lamang ang mag nenegosyo ng drugs. Ang mga gustong sumubok ng drugs na ayaw naman magulo ang buhay niya ay iiwas nalang sa drugs (It is now dangerous to be involved in drugs. Only the bravest criminals would be involved in the drug trade. Those potential drug users, who don’t want their lives to be ruined, would just avoid using the illegal substance),” Pimentel said.
“Kaya naniniwala ako na ang all-out war against drugs ng Duterte administration ay nagbunga ng mas kaunting drug user ng drugs (That’s why I believe that the Duterte administration’s all-out war against drugs resulted in a decrease in the number of drug users),” Pimentel added.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III, meanwhile, gave credence to the survey, noting that he got the “same feedback from our local leaders.”
On the other hand, Senator Panfilo Lacson said the Dangerous Drugs Board should conduct a similar survey but on a wider scale.
Lacson noted that the Senate version of the 2019 budget provides funding for the DDB to conduct a nationwide survey on the number of drug users in the country.
“Kapag naisagawa na ang survey malalaman natin kung valid o hindi ang SWS survey (If the survey [by the DDB] is conducted, we could determine if the SWS survey is valid or not). Meantime, in the absence of any other study, we will have to rely on the SWS survey,” Lacson said.
The survey, conducted in December 2018, showed that 66 percent of Filipinos claimed that the number of drug addicts in their area has decreased over the past year.
Mindanao, at 83 percent, has the highest percentage of people who answered there are less drug addicts in their area compared to last year, followed by the Visayas at 71 percent, Metro Manila at 67 percent, and Balance Luzon at 54 percent.
A total of 68 percent of respondents in rural areas believe the number of illegal drug addicts decreased while 63 percent say the same in urban areas. (PNA)