The Dangerous Drugs Board denounces the draft resolution filed by Iceland at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) to investigate drug-related killings in the Philippines.

Like any states, the Philippines must be accorded with the full respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of states must be observed by all.

While the world drug problem is a common and shared responsibility, we underscore the sovereign right and duty of the Philippines to determine and implement the best approaches to address its drug problem, considering its historical, political, economic, social and cultural contexts and norms.

The Philippine government has used appropriate means and opportunities to present the real drug abuse situation and the government’s response to the international community. We have been participating in conferences and sessions of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) where we update UN-member states of the real data, statistics and information concerning the anti-drug campaign.

In March of this year, we also participated in the exhibit at the CND where we showcased the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy which guides all anti-drug efforts in the country.

The Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy, institutionalized through the issuance of Executive Order No. 66, Series of 2018 by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, is a cohesive, comprehensive, and balanced approach aligned with regional and international frameworks on drug prevention and control.

This strategy provides an extensive framework for law enforcement and penalties for violations while at the same time adopts a compassionate approach to victims of drug use by encouraging voluntary treatment and rehabilitation, under an overarching principle which emphasizes respect for human rights.

Under this strategy, the government is focused on enhancing programs in the supply and demand reduction aspect of the campaign as well as in cross cutting concerns such as treatment, rehabilitation and reformation, civic awareness and response, alternative development, and regional and international cooperation.

It is unfortunate that some groups continue to disparage the efforts of the government by manipulating data and information to present a false and morbid picture of the anti-drug campaign. But as long as we see the faces of recovering drug dependents with renewed hope and confidence and as long as we hear the cheers and encouragements of the Filipino public who now feel safe in their communities, we will not falter with our commitment to doing our very best to address the country’s drug abuse problem.