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PNP has enough funds for drug war – Gordon

Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - January 5, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – With nearly P900 million to spend for Oplan Double Barrel, Sen. Richard Gordon said yesterday the Philippine National Police (PNP) has enough funds to wage its campaign against illegal drugs.

Double Barrel is the name of the PNP operation against illegal drugs that simultaneously targets high-level drug traffickers and street pushers in one campaign.

“They really have a hefty amount to work with,” Gordon said, referring to the P900 million allocated for Double Barrel in the 2017 national budget.

The amount is separate from the P468.1-million PNP intelligence fund for this year, the senator said.

The PNP’s total budget for this year is P111.6 billion.

He said lawmakers are willing to allocate more funds to the PNP to help end extrajudicial killings and criminality.

The senator earlier chided PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa for not being able to stop extrajudicial killings despite having a huge intelligence fund.

Gordon, who chairs the Senate committee on justice and human rights that investigated the rising cases of extrajudicial killings, earlier cleared President Duterte of any involvement in summary executions.

He, however, asked Duterte to take concrete actions to end the spate of extrajudicial killings and end his rhetoric that is seen by many as encouraging vigilantes.

Authorities have raised concern over the looming jail congestion as a result of the intensified campaign against suspects involved in illegal drugs.

Supt. Brendan Fulgencio, chief of the Metro Manila District Jail (MMDJ), said that there are now 1,900 detainees in his jail that was designed to accommodate only 200, or a congestion of 847 percent.

Fulgencio expressed belief the situation at the MMDJ is similar to other jails not only in Metro Manila but nationwide due to intensified campaign of the government against illegal drugs.

From July 1, 2016 to Jan. 24, the PNP Project Double Barrel Alpha reported that 2,174 drug pushers and users were killed after trying to put up a fight during police anti-illegal drug operations.

The PNP said 43,414 drug personalities were arrested in 40,557 anti-drug operations in almost six months of the Duterte administration

Police reported that 1,017,375 drug personalities, including 75,099 pushers and 942,276 users, surrendered after 5,998,848 operations in Project Tokhang.

Duterte focuses on peace and order

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said yesterday that President Duterte is concentrating on solving the nation’s peace and order problems while his three-man economic team is tasked to manage the economy.

Diokno told ABS-CBN News Channel that Duterte has decided to focus on peace and order and has tasked his economic team to handle the economy.

“He does not micro-manage. He gives his people enough leeway to do their job,” he said.

He said it’s just right that the President prioritizes peace and order, “which is a pre-condition to having a stable economy.”

Diokno is a member of the economic team. The other two members are Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.

The anti-drug war that has killed more than 6,000 is part of Duterte’s approach to solving the nation’s peace and order problems. During the election campaign, then candidate Duterte said he did not know much about the economy. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Jess Diaz, Non Alquitran

 

SEN. RICHARD GORDON
Philstar
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