THERE’S this corona virus scare still spreading like wildfire to various parts of the globe, but this is no reason for the government not to pursue its war against illegal drugs, corruption and criminality.
Every year, many Filipinos still die of hunger and illnesses because the money that’s supposed to finance pro-poor programs and projects goes into the deep pockets of corrupt government officials.
And let’s not forget that the “drug monster” continues to deliver knockout punches against the people, notably the youth, and remains a threat to the solidarity of the closely-knit Filipino family.
Aware of this, Surigao del Sur Rep. Robert Ace Barbers has asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership to conduct a thorough search of all vehicles passing through COVID-19 checkpoints.
Barbers, chair of the Senate committee on drugs, said the PNP should not forget the possible proliferation of illegal drugs in the country amid the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon.
He asked the PNP under Gen. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa to inspect all motor vehicles violating the ECQ and in the Metropolitan Manila (MM) area and other parts of Luzon.
According to the lawmaker from Mindanao, PNP personnel manning checkpoints just flag down and issue traffic citation tickets to erring drivers without conducting a thorough search of motor vehicles.
In the United States, he said, an erring driver is told to open the motor vehicle’s trunk “dahil meron ng probable cause.”
“Sa dami ng (quarantine) violators, malaki ang posibilidad na ang ilan dito ay pasok sa transport ng (iligal) na droga. Walang search, eh,” Congressman Barbers pointed out.
In the interest of the people, the PNP ought to heed the call of the Surigao del Sur solon if we are to succeed in eradicating the drug menace before President Duterte leaves Malacanang in 2022.
Certainly, it’s a move in the right direction which must be supported by all sectors of society.