Estrada: Let’s support Duterte in war on drugs

By: Kristine Felisse Mangunay | Philippine Daily Inquirer | December 20, 2016


MANILA — Support President Rodrigo Duterte in the war on drugs.

This was the advice of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to the public, warning the country could become a “narco state” should the government fail in its bid to dismantle the drug syndicates.  “This is very dangerous,” he said.

“For the sake of our country, let us unite and support President Duterte,” who, he said, has been “making a great stand against these drug lords.”

In a statement on Monday, Estrada said traffickers and operators of “big-time” drug laboratories have “managed to run their illegal drug trade unhampered in the past decades because government officials in power are protecting them.”

He pointed to the existence of big drug laboratories in some provinces.  “You know, every election, there are candidates – mayors, congressmen, governors, they ask for political donations, campaign funds, from drug lords. Because these drug lords have the money,” he explained during the distribution of motorcycles to the first batch of Drug Abuse Resistance Education instructors who have been teaching elementary public school students in Manila and Pasay.

DARE is a “classroom instruction program” that originated from the United States and is currently being implemented in Manila.

Under the program, active duty police officers are tapped to teach Grades 5 and 6 students decision-making skills that will enable them to keep away from drugs and other vices.

Estrada said the motorcycles—in addition to the P2,000 monthly allowances to the 15 DARE officers — would “help improve (their) mobility in going to and from different public schools.”

“We believe our DARE officers will be able to reach out to more students if they have the means to travel to different schools,” he said.

Donna Gasgonia, DARE Philippines executive vice president, said the motorcycles were given to 12 policemen from the Manila Police District and three from the Pasay City Police.

According to Estrada, if the existing drug problem was not addressed, “we will be a narco state.”