Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday said President Rodrigo Duterte's extension of the government's war on drugs until the end of his term is like creating a "Pinoy version of Killing Fields."
"Kung palalawigin pa ni Presidente itong ganitong corrupt, abusado, at sobrang agresibong estilo ng war on drugs, ay, what are we looking at? Seventy-two thousand ang posibleng mapapatay by year 2022. Para na tayong maglilikha ng Pinoy version ng Killing Fields. I think definitely hindi 'yan makataong estilo ng paggogobyerno sa ilegal na droga," she said in an interview with Kara David on News To Go.
The Killing Fields refer to areas in Cambodia where more than a million people were reportedly killed by the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s.
"Napaka-costly na ng naging price tag, kahit kalahating taon pa lamang ng pag-implementa ng Project Tokhang. On the average, isang libong Pilipino ang napapatay sa bawat buwan," she added.
Duterte earlier announced that he would extend his campaign against illegal drugs until the end of his term, saying that the country has a deeper drug problem.
Hontiveros, meanwhile, pointed out that a public health approach is more operative in fighting illegal drugs, adding that it is better to focus on health, education, employment and other social problems.
"Mas compassionate at mas makatao at mas epektibo pati mas cost effective 'yung public health approach dito sa problema natin sa ilegal na droga," the senator explained.
Hontiveros described this public health approach as follows: "Sa back-end kapag may problema na sa kalusugan at pagiging dependent sa illegal drugs ng isang kababayan, 'yung rehabilitation lalo na community based, 'yung pagkakaroon ng mga local na drop-in centers at iba pang stratehiya na tinatawag na harm reduction na lubhang mas nakakayanang i-wean-away 'yung mga drug dependents sa kanilang addiction once magdesisyon silang magpa-rehab."
When asked about the suspension of Oplan Tokhang, the senator said she believes that the move is definitely a step toward the right direction, adding that it is an opportunity to clean the police organization of cops who commit crimes.
"Itong pagsuspinde nila sa Project Tokhang, dapat magbigay-daan sa thorough going na paglilinis ng hanay ng PNP para hindi lamang maibalik ang imahe ng publiko sa kanya pero para maging karapat-dapat na instrumento laban sa krimen at laban partikular sa problema natin sa ilegal na droga," Hontiveros said.
Oplan Tokhang was suspended indefinitely to focus more on cleaning up the PNP ranks and hunting down police scalawags.
Hontiveros said it is necessary to continue the coordination between the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the PNP, noting also the importance of "street presence" among cops.
The senator, meanwhile, said she is also willing to give the police organization a chance to reorganize.
"I do believe the PNP is an institution worth saving," Hontiveros said.
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SOURCE: YOUTUBE, GMANEWS