|Dangerous Drugs Board chief Antonio "Bebot" Villar (right) in a tête-à-tête with the author after he spoke at the Kabataan Kontra Druga (Youth against illegal Drugs)recently in Dagupan City.|
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY- The head of the Dangerous Drugs Board declared that if there is a rehabilitation center for illegal drug user, there should also be a cremation center for pusher.
Secretary Antonio “Bebot” Villar told reporters after the Barkada Kontra Droga program here that he was in favor of the restoration of the death penalty that was abolished by Congress and signed into law by former President Gloria M. Arroyo in June 24, 2006.
Villar, former head of the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group during the Arroyo Administration, was concerned about the vulnerability of the huge coastlines of the country to the entry of illegal drug shipments.
“The coastline alone is the second longest coastline in the world. Pwede ka mag-daong diyan. Last time may six drums na may (illegal drug substance) nasa Dasol, naubusan ng gasoline. I don’t know kung saan dadalhin iyon. O, kaya talaga ang coastline natin dapat pabantayan. Kulang ang mga kapulisan natin. PDEA have 500 men, AIDSOT (Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operation) marami,” he stressed.
He said the government should move now by providing proper equipment like helicopters and boats in a joint concerted effort soldiered by Philippine Navy and Coastguard, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency AIDSOT, and the National Bureau of Investigation to guard the coastlines against the entry of illegal drugs.
He likewise deplored the pussyfooting of some of his enforcers.
“Sabi ni Bobby Opina (Director of PDEA in Region 1) kay Johnny Gutierrez director general (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines), meron siyang oplan. Ewan ko kung anong Oplan. Iyung Oplan mo Leche Plan. That was five months ago pa. Hanggang ngayon wala. I’m concerned kasi lalawigan ko ito. Priority ko talaga ito.”
When Villar reigned as mayor of Sto. Tomas in Pangasinan, it was not only known as an illegal drug-free town but was avoided like plague by drug malefactors.
Meanwhile, Villar warned mayors in Pangasinan that they would be facing charges at the Ombudsman for abetting the proliferation of Jai alai suspected as front for illegal numbered game jueteng.
He said the Writ of Preliminary Injunction filled by Meridian Vista Gaming Corporation at the Court of Appeals should be applied in Cagayan Valley and not nationwide.
He said Pangasinenses do not know how to play Jai-alai.
“Bakit may Jai Alai sa atin? That’s a front. But that is accepted already by the mayors (who) gave their permit. I don’t know baka sila ang ma-Ombudsman, di ba?” he said.