Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has agreed to team up with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to beef up anti-drug operations in barangays within the capital city.
With the Philippine National Police eased out of the government’s anti-drug war, Estrada said PDEA’s help is invaluable in attaining his administration’s vision of a “drug-free” Manila.
“We welcome PDEA here in Manila. I’m looking forward to our partnership with them,” Estrada said following the courtesy call of newly installed PDEA-National Capital Region director Ismael Fajardo.
Estrada said the assistance and cooperation of PDEA-NCR to the city government’s anti-drug drive is crucial after President Rodrigo Duterte designated PDEA as the “sole agency” to carry out operations against the narcotics trade.
“It’s always a welcome development whenever we get more support. Drugs is a scourge that we should unite against to save our country and our youth,” he said.
As a welcome gesture, Estrada readily agreed to Fajardo’s request for an office within the city that will be used by PDEA-Manila District personnel. Estrada even pledged to renovate the available office space at the Manila Youth Reception Center Complex near the Manila North Cemetery for the use of PDEA-Manila.
With its own office in Manila, Fajardo said PDEA-Manila personnel will be able to concentrate more in going after drug personalities and clearing the still drug-affected barangays.
PDEA’s law enforcement operations in Manila, he said, will complement the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program Estrada is implementing to keep the youth away from the influence of drugs.
“DARE is a demand and supply reduction strategy. When we educate the people, especially the young ones about the ill-effects of drug use, naturally they will no longer buy and use drugs. ‘Pag wala nang bibili, wala nang magma-manufacture,” Fajardo said.