Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero yesterday said the war against drug gangs and the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers won't be won by sound bites but by a consistent and unrelenting campaign against both menaces.
""Declaring an all out war against drugs and setting a date for the elimination of the Abu Sayyaf are good sound bites. But I believe we have heard this all before," the 39-year old lawmaker said.
"Why only declare a war against drugs now when any administration is supposed to be doing so from Day One? How many times have the Abu Sayyaf resurrected itself after being declared a nuisance?" asked Escudero.
Data from law enforcers reveal that the country has at least 3.4 million drug users while the 2009 World Report released by the United Nations recently said the Philippines was fifth after China, the US, Thailand and Taiwan in terms of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) seizures from 1998-2007.
In the World Drug Report 2008 released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Philippines was listed as the country with the biggest number of illegal drug-users in Southeast Asia.
Escudero added the fact that the president herself continues to act as the anti-drug czar may indicate her lack of confidence in the military and police to resolve the drug problem.
"What is required is honest-to-goodness sleuthing that will ensure the operations of these enemies of the state are stopped and their leaders brought to the bar of justice," he said.