MANILA –Philippine government can implement more reforms, including those in the security sector, to ensure a successful anti-drug program in the long term, according to a political analyst.
University of the Philippines (UP) Political Science Professor Ranjit Rye said that while the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) had done a “very good job” based on initial milestone of the Duterte administration, a significant security sector reform was needed.
“You need to continue the efforts, but we need to make them accountable. We need to push them to implement their own internal reforms,” he said Tuesday in an interview on the sidelines of the #RealNumbersPH forum.
Rye also cited some best practices, which the Philippines can implement, such as fast-tracking administrative and criminal cases against erring policemen and agents of the state, having more accountability and transparency structures, and generating more information from the PNP about crime statistics.
“Reforming our criminal justice system (is also imperative through) providing it more funds for capability, insulating it from influence. Because it’s the criminal justice system that prosecutes,” he said.
Rye further said information sharing also played a key role in ensuring a successful anti-drug program.
“The significant work cannot be done by the police alone or the security sector. A lot of the work to fight the menace of drug will require civil society engagement with the state,” he added.
The PDEA said the country’s illegal drugs trade was a Php120-billion industry. Drug users have reached four million.