Palace launches Duterte’s drug war ads

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/03 Sept.) – The Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) launched on Friday President Duterte’s drug war ads directed by award-winning independent film director Brillante Mendoza.

In a press briefing at the Royal Mandaya Hotel here, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the ads touch on the ill-effects of drugs not only on the drug user but also on how “it destroys the social fabric” of this country.

“Basically, it shows another face to the drug problem and how it destroys the social fabric,” he said. “It brings out a different aspect (of drug problem) – the fact of social connectivity that is being destroyed.”

Abella pointed out the ads tackle in “bite sizes” what the Duterte administration wants to address, that is, the depth of the drug menace that he described as “pandemic”.

A premier indie film director, Mendoza said he came up with the concept of the ads that showcase how substance abuse affects the relationships among family members.

“Ayaw natin maapektuhan ang pamilya dahil sa droga (We don’t want the family to be affected by drugs),” he said.

Two of the ads last 2 minutes and 30-second ads and are for the social media. Four are for TV and last 30 seconds while there are two audio versions for radio.

Mendoza said he wants to influence the Filipino people through these ads by touching the hearts of the viewer on the dangers of illegal drug use.

PCOO chief Secretary Martin Andanar said the country’s giant networks, radio stations, and operators of cinemas have offered to allot free time slots for these ads from this month until December.

In a press briefing at the Davao International Container Terminal aired live over DZMM Friday, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said he is unfazed by the growing criticisms from the international community over his drug war.

“I am not the president of the international community. I am the president of this country. … For all that they can always talks and talk. I am invoking sovereignty,” he said.

He said criticism bother him “not a bit” because there is a crisis in the Philippines with 3.6 million Filipinos who have figured in drugs according to the Philippine National Police.

He vowed that he will address the drug menace within the limited resources of government.

But he admitted that new rehabilitation centers for drug users might not come too soon due to limited budget.

“The drug crisis hurts so many people including the parents who raise their children from childhood to college, spending money only to realize that at the end of the day, their lives are destroyed. That’s the thing that you should worry,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)