DAGUPAN CITY, May 7 (PIA) — “We’ll be very, very patient in dealing with this thing.”
Thus said Mayor Benjamin S. Lim about how the city government would deal with the persistent drug problem that has been plaguing the city despite several attempts to stop it.
Drugs can be eliminated not only through the arrest of suspected drug dealers and users but also if the demand for it can be reduced, he said during the KBP Forum held at the Philippine Information Agency office on Thursday.
Arrests should be done with caution – with evidences presented properly – noting that several known drug personalities had escaped prosecution because of police mishandling the cases.
For example, two months ago, several police officers were charged administratively before the National Police Commission for alleged illegal arrest and extortion of suspected drug pushers.
On the other hand, reduced in demand would also help eliminate the problem, he added, saying that this will be addressed through seminars next school year. The seminars will invite reformed drug users who will relate their experiences on drug use.
Since last year, the city government, together with the police, has been conducting dialogues with the residents of Sitio Silongan, considered as the city’s drug hub, to rid of drugs there.
The residents even promised the city government not to allow other people whom they know as drug pushers to reside there.
But the residents, by covering up for suspected drug traders, seem not keen on keeping their promise.
Lim sees the lack of alternative livelihood as the main reason why the residents get engaged in drug business.
The mayor asked the public to help solve the drug problem. Police work will not be effective without the cooperation of the people, he said. (JCR/ARRF-PIA 1, Pangasinan)