Tomas to Duterte: Explore other ways
ADDRESSING THE DRUG PROBLEM
MAYBE there are less bloody alternatives of addressing the country’s drug problem.
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has urged President Rodrigo Duterte to look for other more humane ways in combatting illegal drugs instead of relying solely on police operations.
In a live interview with Rappler on Friday evening, Osmeña said the Duterte government should also focus on drug rehabilitation to save and help drug dependents be reintegrated into society as normal, productive and law-abiding citizens.
Osmeña however, is also backing the President’s war on drugs.
“If the President did not do his drive against illegal drugs, we’re finished as a country. It’s a very complicated issue handling drugs but it is not only police actions. There’s socioeconomic, livelihood,” Osmeña said.
“You cannot rely too much on police action. Develop other means on attacking the problem. There is livelihood, for one. All these people turn themselves in but they have nothing to offer. Drug addicts are so difficult to train,” he added.
Not so good
On the other hand, Osmeña described his relationship with the local police and the state of public safety in Cebu City as ‘not so good.’
“There are killings here and there, and we’re not used to this. And it appears that there’s something going beyond. It’s very clear there’s a pattern and some rivalry between drug suspects, and some policemen maybe involved,” Osmeña said.
He also said that the current state of public safety in Cebu City has upset him because the city government does not have capability to investigate the killings.
“And I’m very disturbed right now. We’re trying to catch a pattern and identify who are the suspects behind all of these,” said Osmeña.
When asked if he has identified means to reduce criminality in Cebu City, the mayor admitted that presently, he has none.
“Well, I don’t know at this point. But I promised the Cebuanos I am responsible for the peace and order situation. But right now, I don’t know what to do. Just give me some time,” Osmeña added.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Board (PB) is proposing an ordinance that will mandate all barangays to have a community-based treatment program for drug dependents.
The proposed ordinance hopes to create the Province Community-Based Treatment Program (CPBTP), to help rehabilitate drug dependents in the barangay level.
Of the 1,066 barangays in Cebu, about 245 were declared drug-free this year.
The proposal which underwent its second reading last Wednesday, was authored by ex-officio member Earl Tidy Oyas, who chairs the committee on dangerous drugs.
The funding of the treatment program will come from the town’s Municipal and Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADAC) and MADAC.
In the program, drug dependents will undergo treatment three to four times a week for at least six months before they will be allowed to undergo skills training.
Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale said she supports the proposal but expressed concern whether all the barangays can afford it.
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