Outgoing President Benigno Aquino III emphasized the importance of family in the fight against drugs, claiming that the government has been actively doing its part through anti-drug operations but cannot do it with the full cooperation of the family members.
“We’ll ask the parents first if they could maximize their assistance to government,” Aquino said.
“Parents would be [in the best position] to determine who is abusing various substances,” he said.
“At the end of the day, the family and it’s only through concerted action between government and community that we can eliminate or substantially reduce this problem,” he added.
The President cited a report saying that from July 2010 to May 2016, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) have conducted 87,187 and 8,646 anti-drug operations nationwide, respectively.
“We’d like to assure but we’d also like to request a lot more from the general public: If there are people whom they know who are abusing substances, the sooner we’ll get their help, the better,” Aquino said.
President Aquino released this statement during an interview with Manila Bulletin. This came in light of the Close Up Forever Summer concert tragedy, where the lives of five individuals died due to overdose of illegal drugs.
With regard to the incident, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has arrested a man believed to be part of a group that sold illegal drugs during the concert.
Anti-Illegal Drugs Division (AIDD) chief Joel Tovera said on Saturday that Joshua Habalo, alias “Josh,” was arrested late Friday evening during a party at the House of Manila club inside Remington Hotel in Pasay City.
Tovera was caught red-handed with ecstasy tablets, packets of cocaine, and 3 green-colored tablets. These green tablets were believed to be "green amore”, the illegal designer drug believed to have been sold at the concert.
Green amore contains ecstasy, methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, and Cialis. Meanwhile, the victims were tested positive for shabu, ecstasy, and marijuana.