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Estrada, PDEA team up in fight against illegal drugs in Manila

Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has teamed up with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in his continuing anti-drug operations in the barangays.
With the Philippine National Police (PNP) out of the government’s anti-drug war, Estrada said PDEA’s help is invaluable in attaining his administration’s vision of a “drug-free” Manila.
“We welcome PDEA here in Manila. I’m looking forward to our partnership with them,” the Manila mayor said following the courtesy call of newly installed PDEA-National Capital Region (NCR) director Ismael Fajardo in his office at the city hall.
Estrada said the assistance and cooperation of PDEA-NCR to the city government’s anti-drug drive is a “welcome development,” especially with President Duterte’s order designating PDEA as the “sole agency” that will carry out operations against the narcotics trade.
“It’s always a welcome development whenever we get more support. Drugs are a scourge that we should unite against to save our country and our youth,” he said.
As a welcome gesture, Estrada readily agreed to Fajardo’s request for an office within the city that will be used by PDEA-Manila District personnel that will handle anti-drug operations in the capital city.
Estrada even pledged to renovate the available office space at the Manila Youth Reception Center Complex near the Manila North Cemetery for the use of PDEA-Manila.
In an interview, Fajardo expressed his gratitude to Estrada as he vowed to assist the city government in its anti-drug campaign.
“Yes, that’s why I’m here to talk to the Mayor. We’re hoping to have a closer coordination with the city government,” he pointed out.
With its own office in Manila, Fajardo said PDEA-Manila personnel will be able to concentrate more in going after drug personalities and clearing the still drug-affected barangays.
PDEA’s law enforcement operations in Manila, he stressed, will complement the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program Estrada is implementing to keep the youth away from the influence of drugs.
“DARE is a demand and supply reduction strategy. When we educate the people, especially the young ones about the ill-effects of drug use, naturally they will no longer buy and use drugs. Pag wala nang bibili, wala nang magma-manufacture,” Fajardo explained.
He said the program should go hand-in-hand with active anti-drug and law enforcement operations.
“This kind of program should be implemented nationwide,” the PDEA-NCR chief suggested.
Originally from the US, DARE is a classroom instruction program that taps active duty police officers and soldiers to teach Grades 5 and 6 students good decision-making skills to keep them away from drugs and other vices.
Estrada brought the program to the Philippines in 1993 — and eventually to the City of Manila — when he was Vice President and head of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission; 1.5 million schoolchildren across the country have so far graduated from the short course.
Estrada now serves as chairman of DARE Philippines Inc., a privately funded organization that oversees the implementation of the program, including the training of policemen and soldiers to become DARE instructors. 

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