Dangerous Drugs Board bucks United Nations Human Rights Council drug probe

Dangerous Drugs Board

THE Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) has expressed dismay with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) move to proceed with its preliminary investigation into the violations purportedly committed by the Philippine government in the course of its campaign against illegal drugs.

In a statement, the DDB finds it highly condemnable for the international body to act upon accusations which are not substantiated by concrete and tangible evidence.

Being the lead agency in policy-making and strategy-formulation in all matters pertinent to drug abuse prevention and control, the DDB described the UNHRC move as an ill-informed action.

DDB also finds the move as outrightly dismissive of the massive gains which the Philippines has achieved, both in the formulation of policies and the implementation of programs that correspond to the urgent need to address the drug problem in the country.

In a message to the international body, the DDB said it puts emphasis on the importance of promulgating a national plan of action that will outline the country’s “whole-of-government” approach in dealing with the problem of illegal drugs, which is basically why the Board immediately spearheaded the crafting and mainstreaming of the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS).

“This Strategy, which was institutionalized by virtue of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Executive Order (EO) No. 66, series of 2018, codifies in a comprehensive manner the action steps the Government should follow in reducing – if not totally eradicating – both the supply and the demand for illicit substances. Reduced to simple terms, the PADS provides rehabilitative and reformatory measures to drug dependents and metes out severe penalties for other drug-related offenses such as manufacturing and trafficking, while making sure that the basic principles and tenets of human rights are respected and adhered to,” the statement reads.

Aside from this, in place also are several Board Regulations which provide for the procedures and protocols to be observed by the government, and which involve agencies and offices from the barangays up to the national level. A prime example of these is Board Regulation No. 4, Series of 2016, which lays down the framework for providing appropriate interventions to persons who use drugs (PWUDs) who voluntarily surrendered to authorities.

Equally noteworthy is Board Regulation No. 2, Series of 2018, which seeks to provide reformatory rehabilitation to drug offenders who voluntarily surrender or who avail of the plea bargaining agreement.

“It is in light of these existing policy frameworks that the DDB reiterates its utmost disappointment at the passage of the Resolution and at the continued efforts by oppositionists – both local and international – to discredit the successes the Duterte Administration has attained in the last couple of years,” the DDB stated.