Presidential bets offer legal ways to fight illegal drugs –

The body of a suspected drug pusher lies on a street in Pasay City after being killed during a buy-bust operation. (INQUIRER FILE) PHOTO)
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential candidates who took part in the second debate organized by the Commission on Elections on Sunday offered ways to combat illegal drugs while upholding human rights.
They were former presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, labor leader Leody de Guzman, and Vice President Leni Robredo.


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“It can be addressed two ways. Number one, reduce demand. And the other one is reduce supply,” Abella said, speaking in a mix of English and Filipino.
“Reducing the demand, if possible, should be first. For example, let’s address the needs of out-of-school youth, give them more opportunities for jobs and businesses, especially those living in vulnerable areas,” he added.


He also urged the Bureau of Customs to keep track of the entry of drug supply.
Noting the importance of upholding rights, De Guzman said that the government should focus on economic development.

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“Let’s give more focus on this economic development so that we reduce by 80 percent or 70 percent the problems we have in our country. In my understanding, that’s the source of may of the problems we face,” he said.
He also renewed his call to stop red-tagging and abolish the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

Robredo, noting rights to be “inherent” and “inalienable,” raised the need to revisit the Dangerous Drugs Law.
“It should be based on best practices in the whole world,” she said.
As of February 2022, government data shows that 6,235 individuals were killed in President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war , which he launched in 2016.


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Drug war still gravest human rights concern in Philippines – HRW
PH drug war, rights situation back under global scrutiny
Total drug war deaths at 6,235 as of February 2022, says PDEA

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