Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, on Monday commended the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) following the 52% significant drop in fatalities in the bloodless anti-illegal drug campaign of the Marcos administration as he vowed to pursue its drug-related inquiries upon instruction of Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez.
“The House leadership under Speaker Martin Romualdez commends PDEA for a job well done in the successful bloodless anti-illegal drug campaign. Your exceptional performance, outstanding efforts, and unwavering dedication to excellence have not gone unnoticed. We are looking forward to witnessing law enforcement agencies led by PDEA achieve even greater milestones in the fight against illegal drugs,” Barbers said.
“We have to continue strategies in the war on drugs that are just, humane, and without too much harm,” Barbers stressed. “Let us avoid unnecessary loss of life and suffering because of violence.”
Compared to the 40 fatalities from 2020 to 2021, PDEA recorded 19 deaths from July 2022 to September 2023.
Upon the instruction of Speaker Romualdez, Barbers said his committee will hold additional hearings in support of the bloodless anti-drug war of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
“Like food inflation and the other important concerns we are trying to address, the drug menace is a big problem. It destroys users, their families, and society. Drug lords, peddlers, their protectors, and corrupt law enforcers and politicians are the only ones benefitting from it,” he said.
In particular, he said his committee would determine if legislation is needed to strengthen PBBM’s anti-drug campaign.
“Let us see how we can boost the anti-drug war without resorting to violence, without eliciting anger and resentment from our people, and without drawing global attention and condemnation,” he added.
He pointed out that Congress should also find ways to help the concerned agencies rehabilitate the estimated 1.8 million drug users among Filipinos.
“These agencies should tell us what they need – more funding or more legislative measures,” he stressed.