Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan believes President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody, nationwide campaign against drugs is bound to fail if history were an indication. In a statement, Pangilinan cited a report of Sunstar Davao showing that over 4,000 drug addicts and pushers surrendered in Davao City last July as a result of the Philippine National Police’s Oplan Tokhang.

While the sheer number of drug suspects who surrendered could be considered good news, the senator noted that the figure means the drug problem still persists in Duterte’s turf even if he had ruled it for over two decades as mayor before winning the presidential race. “If the Davao City anti illegal drugs campaign did not succeed in stamping out and eliminating pushers and addicts in Davao City under President Duterte’s 24-year stint as mayor, what makes us think that the nationwide campaign against illegal drugs will succeed in 6 months (extended to another 6 months)?” Pangilinan asked.

“If a mailed fist policy against illegal drugs did not succeed in eliminating the drug menace in a smaller area (one city) over a longer period of time (24 years), why will it succeed in a larger area (the entire country of over 100 cities and over 1000 municipalities) in a shorter period of time (3 to 6 to 12 months)?” Pangilinan suggested that the administration reconsider the current approach it is using to solve the drug problem because people “yearn for and deserve oplans that work.”


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