War on drugs, extremely difficult – Gibo

Jose Rodel Clapano – The Filipino Star

February 20, 2022 | 00:00

MANILA, Philippines – Former Secretary of National Defense and Senate candidate Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro has acknowledged that the government’s war on illegal drugs is extremely difficult, due to the huge sums of money at the disposal of the barons of the drug.

Speaking to ‘The Chiefs’ on Cignal TV’s One News channel last Friday, Teodoro said, “First and foremost, the war on drugs is extremely difficult because of the enormous amount of money have these drug barons. How you approach that, I don’t have the answer.” He noted that even for a superpower like the United States, drug trafficking remains a problem. “Even in the United States, they have already tried to build the wall. It is extremely difficult,” he said.

The second big challenge, Teodoro said, is whether or not the government’s intelligence community has the capacity to launch intelligence-driven, evidence-backed operations.

He said the government must empower both the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Prosecution Service for this “because the end, given every operation, should be to gather enough evidence to convict” a illegal drug dealer.

He then recalled the Boratong case which was handled by four female prosecutors, following the raid of a drug lab in Pasig City during the time of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“The president asked us to ensure the safety of these four prosecutors who were going to be offered sums in exchange for not prosecuting,” Teodoro said, adding that the prosecution had stood firm and obtained a conviction in this case. case.

“I think he’s still in jail or the cohorts are still in jail. So we have to continue on a sustainable basis, this kind of activity. And more importantly, there should be a fusion between what the PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) does and what the police do,” Teodoro said.

He deplored cases of disagreement due to conflicting jurisdictions.

As for the death penalty, the aspiring senator said he was opposed to the reinstatement of the death penalty.

“No. No. I have always been against the death penalty, not for moral reasons. I think it is acceptable but you have to have the mechanism to guarantee a fair trial,” Teodoro said. a specter of wrongfully convicted people and once he’s dead you can’t revive him or her.”

Meanwhile, Teodoro strongly opposed the resumption of the Philippines’ membership in the International Circuit Court (ICC).

“No. I was always against (it) on the record,” he said.

“We opposed it at the Ministry of National Defense,” he recalled, citing that local insurgency conditions are different around the world.

“You can’t let a stranger judge you on what is right or wrong and even in the application of the ICC statutes, those who are strong will never be prosecuted.

Allegations of British and American abuses in Afghanistan have been brought before the ICC. They rejected it on the grounds that the national institution in charge of prosecution and/or judgment was sufficient,” Teodoro said.

He also said that while ICC investigators can come to the Philippines at any time to investigate the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, “it’s moot and moot” since the Supreme Court is, in effect, , already seconded from the ICC.

Marginalized learners

Meanwhile, re-elected Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has pledged to seek adequate support for the country’s marginalized learners, including people with disabilities, to help the education sector recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gatchalian pointed out that enrollment of learners with disabilities and Alternative Learning System (ALS) learners has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.

For the chairman of the Senate committee on basic education, arts and culture, this underscores the need to make educational opportunities more accessible to these learners, noting that they were already struggling before the pandemic hit. hit.

Gatchalian is the primary author and sponsor of the Alternative Learning System Act (RA 11510). ALS offers special out-of-school children and adult learners the opportunity to develop basic and functional literacy and life skills.

Out-of-school children in special cases include learners with disabilities or disabilities, indigenous peoples, children in conflict with the law, learners in emergencies and other marginalized sectors.

Gatchalian is also the sponsor and co-author of the measure titled “Instituting an Inclusion Policy and Services for Learners with Disabilities in Support of the Inclusive Education Act”.

Once the law is enacted, the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with local government units, will initially establish and maintain at least one inclusive learning resource center for learners with disabilities in every city and town nationwide.

Agricultural development

Meanwhile, Senator Risa Hontiveros thanked the farmers’ groups who expressed their support for her re-election bid and pledged to promote measures that will boost the development of the agricultural sector.

The Magsasaka Partilist and the Free Farmers Federation separately showed their support for Hontiveros as a senatorial candidate, emphasizing principled unity in promoting the rights and interests of the agricultural sector.

Hontiveros is known for advancing the rights and welfare of the agricultural sector through its Senate resolution calling for the review of the implementation of the rice pricing law and its decision to recall the executive order lowering the tariffs on imported rice.

She also exposed various smuggling issues including “rice pricing” in the National Food Authority and smuggling of imported vegetables and fruits which seriously affects local production.

The senator pledged to work closely with the various groups of farmers and fishermen to propose safety nets and advance policy measures that will improve the competitiveness of national agricultural production and will be less dependent on the importation of food. – Cecille Suerte Felipe

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