KaMADA holds symposium on drugs
Tabuk City, Kalinga (21 February) -- The Kalinga Movement Against Drug Abuse (KAMADA) held recently a symposium on drug education at the Kalinga College of Science and Technology (KCST) multi-purpose hall aimed to prevent students from taking in illegal drugs and abusing drug substances.
With the theme "Thumbs Up to Education, Thumbs Down to drug Abuse", student representatives from various schools gathered at KCST. Questions frequently asked during the forum by students were the effects of abused drugs on the body and the corresponding prosecution of violators.
Mrs. Estela P. Dulin, KaMADA Chairperson and KCST President informed that students of their school adhered to their policy against drug abuse. "I am happy to inform that our students abide to the rule strictly prohibiting the use, sale and entry of prohibited drugs in the school the reason why we are spearheading this campaign," she said.
Senior Police Superintendent Arni Dean D. Emock updated the participants on the drug abuse situation in the province while P/S Inspector and Provincial Anti-Drug Special Operations Task Group head Sebastian L. Alcedo discussed the approaches to drug problem, particularly police anti-drug operations and prosecution of drug cases.
Col. Posadas of the 501st Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army stressed that the drug menace is also taking its toll on government resources, which could have been utilized instead on development projects.
Dr. Henrietta S. Bagayao, City Health Officer presented the effects of drug abuse while Mr. Simeon Bentican who represented Gov. Floydelia Diasen assured KaMADA and the participants that the provincial government has also incorporated drug campaign activities in its local programs.
Oscar D. Gunday, one of the organizers noted improvement in participation of students in this kind of activity and hope to replicate the same in other schools. The symposium was the 2nd activity conducted by KAMADA.
Meanwhile, the City Police Office last February 19 burned marijuana stuff from the 56 bricks confiscated from a checkpoint. According to city Police Chief Alfredo Dangani, the illegal drugs worth P1.4 million originated from the upper Kalinga region and transported for sale outside the province. No owner was apprehended.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo gathered on February 16 all government drug enforcement agencies to review and institutionalize the components and details that form the enforcement pillar in the campaign for a drug-free Philippines.
"The events of the past couple of months have highlighted the need for offices in the law enforcement pillar against illegal drugs to share vision and harmonize their operations so that the syndicates and peddlers of illegal drugs are brought to justice and penalized in accordance with law and the procedures of the law," Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Chairman Vicente Sotto III said.
Sotto has noted that there has been low resolution rate of cases thus, a need to review "buy-bust operation," a specific area of concern "where lapses and technicalities are prone to be pointed out by defense lawyers.
DDB data showed that of the 99,754 illegal drugs cases filed from 2003 to 2008, only 22 percent was resolved. Of the total resolved cases, only 32 percent resulted in convictions, 31 percent in acquitted, 27 percent in dismissal and 11 percent provisionally dismissed. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]