Former President and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Monday reiterated his strong support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on illegal drugs, as he called on all city and municipal mayors to continue to fight illegal drugs, which he said is the root cause of rising criminality and corruption.
Estrada said illegal drugs is a multibillion-dollar industry that could make the country a “narco state” should the government fail in its bid to dismantle the drug syndicates.
The mayor likewise urged the public to shun barangay officials and candidates linked to illegal drugs who will run in the coming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on May 14.
He said the President needs the support of everyone in eradicating the drug menace, which will only destroy the future generations of the country.
“Let’s protect the children, the youth … they are our future. We are one with PDEA chief Director General Aaron Aquino’s call not to vote barangay officials linked to illegal drugs,” Erap said.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency claimed there are 143 village chiefs and 146 village councilors involved in the narcotics trade.
“The President has been doing an excellent job in fighting the narco-politicians and corruption in government,” Erap said on Duterte’s stance to stop illegal drugs in the country.
Estrada said traffickers and operators of “big-time” drug laboratories have “managed to run their illegal drug trade unhampered in the past decades because government officials in power are protecting them.”
“This is the time to jail all drug traffickers. The key to success and improve the economy is to eliminate illegal drugs and corruption.” Estrada said.
Citing figures from the Department of Interior and Local Government that 9,000 barangay officials are directly involved in the drug trade, the former President said the numbers are “very disturbing.”
He said the DILG’s figure is very alarming, confirming that majority of the crimes committed in the country are drug-related.
The mayor said the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program in all Manila public elementary and high schools has been very successful in creating awareness to the students and the public about the evils of illegal drugs.
Estrada started the DARE program during his term as Vice President from 1992 up to 1998.
He ordered Manila Police District Chief Superintendent Napoleon Coronel to closely monitor the drug personalities who might finance the candidates in the May barangay elections.