TRECE MARTIREZ CITY, Cavite – Integrity will be a key weapon, especially of law enforcers, in their ongoing efforts to combat the illegal drug trade, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Thursday.
Lacson also called for all sectors of society to do their part in complimenting the anti-drug efforts of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and other law enforcement bodies.
“Unless law enforcers act with integrity – that is, with highest ethical standards and respect to the rule of law at all times – change, no matter how much work you put into it, will remain elusive,” he said at the PDEA’s destruction of seized illegal drugs here.
“Hence, if we intend to remain committed to this cause, we should also fortify parallel efforts to ensure this is not the battle of the PDEA alone or of the PNP alone, but more so by all of us. We should all work together to eliminate this menace by all means necessary, but with proper regard to and complete respect for the individual rights of all concerned, whether they be the one enforcing the law or the one to whom the law is being enforced,” he added.
Lacson said credibility involves a person doing what he or she says, especially under unguarded and tempting circumstances. “If a man is truthful and upright in public, but renounces those standards in private, then he lacks credibility because he has no integrity,” he pointed out.
“In the same manner, a PDEA agent or any public servant who is trustworthy before the media and cameras, but forsakes his code of morals and implements double standards when no one is around, is not worthy of the public’s veneration,” he said.
On the other hand, Lacson reiterated the need for law enforcement agencies not to let “a few bad apples” undermine their efforts.
“(A)n arduous challenge remains: we should not let a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch. We should fight tooth and nail to break the grip of erring officers within all law enforcement agencies to win back the confidence of the public in our institutions,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lacson said law enforcement agencies can mount an information campaign to let the public, especially the youths, realize the far-reaching effects of drug abuse.
He also said the public should be aware of their individual responsibilities in helping end the problem of illegal drugs.
“Meron tayong responsibility sa society, mapa-media ka o law enforcement o ordinaryong tao. Isipin natin ang responsibility sa future generations,” he said.
On Thursday, Lacson was the guest at the PDEA ceremony where more than P400 million worth of illegal drugs including shabu, cocaine, ketamine, marijuana, ephedrine, ecstasy, and expired medicines were destroyed by thermal decomposition.