Palace urges ex-Colombian leader to visit Davao City to see results of war on drugs

MANILA-- Malacanang urged on Thursday former Colombia President Cesar Gaviria to visit Davao City to see for himself the comprehensive solution of anti-illegal drugs in the home city of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar made this call after the ex-Colombian leader criticized President Duterte's strong war on drugs in the Philippines.

"President Gaviria should instead go to Davao so that he will be able to see the comprehensive solution of local government, how it solve drug problems and how the rehabilitation of drug addicts worked through comprehensive counseling," Andanar said in a radio interview.

In his opinion peace entitled "President Duterte is repeating my mistakes" that he wrote for the New York Times, the Colombian president from 1990 to 1994 said the fight against illegal drug in the Philippines cannot be won alone by police and military force.

Last Wednesday, President Duterte fired back, calling the Colombian leader 'idiot' for lecturing him about the war on drugs.

Andanar repeated President Duterte's explanations that the drug situations in Colombia and the Philippines are different due to the kind of illegal drugs being trafficked in the two countries.

"I think President Cesar is misinformed because, first, he said it won't work, I've tried it before. He should take into consideration that war on drugs in Colombia have different context," Andanar explained.

"What I know is that the highest types of drug in Colombia are cocaine and marijuana. The effect of cocaine to the users is not that serious as compared to shabu. Shabu contains water of batteries that can affect and shrink brains," he added.

Andanar also explained that war on drugs in the Philippines is comprehensive because of the participation of the Department of Health (DOH) and cooperation of different religious groups and non-profit organizations.

According to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Philippines' drug problem has contaminated more than 3 million, prompting President Duterte to extend his successful war on drugs in Davao City throughout the country.

Due to Philippine National Police's anti-drug war 'Oplan Tokhang', over one million drug users and pushers surrendered to authorities while 40,000 have been arrested and more than 2,000 killed in legitimate police operations.

The PNP also seized PHP3.7 billion worth of illegal drugs from the country's 18 regions.

However, the PNP dismantled all its anti-drug units upon instruction of President Duterte after some policemen engaged in illegal activities in the guise of the government's massive campaign against illegal drugs, including the abduction and killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo. (PNA)

Source: Philippines information agency

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