Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III expressed belief that the “advice” given by former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria to President Duterte not to mimic his country’s failed drug war campaign since it has not been the pronounced policy of the administration to kill drug personalities.
“That’s common sense. Killing people is not the solution. We are enforcing the law. We are against drugs because they destroy people. So how can we kill people to protect the people? So killing people is not really the answer to any problem,” he said in an interview with reporters.
Pimentel opposed to some of Gaviria’s proposals such as adoption of measures that decriminalize drug users.
“That’s wrong kasi we’re dealing now with synthetic drugs. This is not only marijuana. Synthetic drugs, we cannot ever even entertain making the use of synthetic drugs as legal. No way,” he said
“The point is, we have enforce the law. We have to go after the importers of the drugs. We have to after the manufacturers of the drugs. We have to go after the big-time distributors of the drugs. When you say go after, in accordance with law, hindi rin naman sila papatayin dahil wala namang death penalty dito,” he said.
But even under a situation where death penalty is already re-imposed, Pimentel said no law enforcer is authorized to implement such punishment or summary execution to drug offenders
“In accordance with law – huli, kulong, kaso – yun ang dapat gagawin,” he said.
“No country, especially the Philippines should never apply the policy to kill,” said Pimentel.
Gaviria, in an opinion column that saw print in the New York Times, urged Duterte to not to repeat his mistakes in confronting the drug problem.
“Throwing more soldiers and police at the drug users is not just a waste of money but also can actually make the problem worse. Locking up nonviolent offenders and drug users almost always backfires instead of strengthening organized crime,” he said.
The former Colombian president said that real reductions in drug supply and demand will come through improving public health and safety, strengthening anticorruption measures and in investing in sustainable development.