Following an admission by President Rodrigo Duterte that the country’s drug problem had “worsened”, broadcast journalist and Senatorial candidate Jiggy Manicad observed that one of the reasons why the drug menace continues to flourish is because of poverty and lack of basic social services.
“The so-called war on drugs should be accompanied by livelihood programs, job opportunities for families,” Manicad pressed.
He added, “‘Minsan kapag tinanong mo ang isang nanay, bakit ho kayo nagtulak? Ang sagot niya para sa pagkain, gamot lang eh. So it really boils down to also providing employment and basic services, especially in the poorest communities.”
Manicad, who was an investigative reporter prior to his entry into the political arena, explained that there are still many cases of people being forced into drugs because of poverty, desperation or blackmail.
“Bilang mamamahayag, nakita po natin na may mga kaso diyan nang mga umaabuso sa droga dahil gustong paminsan-minsa’y tumakas mula sa hirap ng buhay. ‘Yung iba naman, iba-blackmail ng mga drug syndicates na sasabihing papatayin ang pamilya mo kung ‘di ka papayag maging drug mule,” Manicad lamented.
“We need to look into these cases too,” he urged.
Amid continuing cases of confiscated drug shipments and buy-busts, with even celebrities and public officials allegedly part of the narco-list, Manicad believes that the drug menace must be addressed “on all fronts”.
“Kung gusto talaga nating manalo sa giyera kontra droga, hindi ba’t kailangan nating tutukan ang lahat ng aspeto ng sitwasyon? Maliban sa paghuli sa mga nagtutulak at mga supplier, tingnan din natin kung bakit ba malaki pa rin ang demand sa droga,” he shared.