NEW YORK – Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa asked the Filipino community for a gift on the first night of Simbang Gabi sa Konsulado in New York: prayers for a drug-free Philippines.
“Sana ay isama niyo kami sa inyong prayers na ang PNP ay magiging successful sa war on drugs. Sana sa aming pagbabalik sa war on drugs wala nang mamatay, hindi na ito madugo,” Dela Rosa said.
According to Real Numbers PH of the Philippine Information Agency, after more than 77,000 anti-drug operations from July 2016 until October 2017, there were more than 117,000 drug-related arrests and about 4,000 drug personalities killed during PNP operations.
After the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency or PDEA’s take over last October, the PNP will now resume its anti-drug operations.
Dela Rosa promises to be more cautious this time.
“I can’t guarantee you na mababawasan, but what I can guarantee you is that we’ll still proceed with our war on drugs in full speed, but with extreme caution,” he said.
“Ingatan na hindi tayo masisingitan ng masasamang tao, mga masasamang sindikato, na sasakay sa ating war on drugs,” he added.
Simbang Gabi organizer Vivian Talambiras-Cruz believes in what Dela Rosa said.
“The eyes of the world are on them. I truly believe na in their heart, na they want to prove na hindi talaga sila para pumatay ng mga tao,” she said.
Father Patrick Longalong, Simbang Gabi mass celebrant added, “We really hold his words, today as a promise to the community.”
The PNP chief said they also want to preserve life.
“Hindi po kami basta-basta na lang pumapatay. Sinasabi meron namang nagkakamali, meron nag aabuso pero kinakasuhan natin yan. Generally, we want to preserve life,” he said.
As the PNP continues President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, members of Filipino-American community in New York say they will be watching them closely this time.
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