PH cannot relax drug campaign due to proximity to China, region’s “smuggling hub” – Manila Bulletin


For Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., the Philippines cannot afford to relax its campaign against illegal drugs like what Portugal did in 2001 because of the country’s proximity to China, the “center smuggled illegal drug exports’ from the region.

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. discusses the issue of the Western Philippine Sea during a meeting with President Duterte and other Cabinet members in Davao City on May 10, 2021 (Malacañang)

Locsin recalled telling this to a Portuguese representative to the United Nations (UN) when he asked why the Philippines was not stopping its harsh war on drugs and instead legalizing drug use.

” I answered : . drug exports to the region and the 13th largest country in the world, ”Locsin said in a tweet without mentioning when these real exchanges with the Portuguese diplomat took place.

Locsin was head of the Philippine mission at UN headquarters in New York from 2016 to 2018 until he was appointed by President Duterte to replace Alan Peter Cayetano.

In 2001, Portugal made history by becoming the first country in the world to decriminalize the use and possession of illegal drugs.

Locsin’s tweet was actually a reaction to a report that more people died from drug overdoses in San Francisco, California last year than from coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

He spoke of the specter of the Philippines losing its main islands to a “dependent population” and a “cash-rich elected cartel” who “sell the islands”.

The Philippines is still grappling with a dispute with China over certain features of the West Philippine Sea despite the 2016 arbitration award which has already overturned Beijing’s excessive nine-dash claims.

During his tenure as Philippine envoy to the UN and later as foreign chief, Locsin firmly defended Duterte’s war on drugs campaign which resulted in the deaths of over 6,000 suspected users and petty drug traffickers.

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2019, Locsin said the UN was “not free to intervene” when a state chooses to take a hard line against crime.



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