Mandatory drug education eyed in Davao City grade schools

"Drugs seem to be the cause of all the problems (in Davao) that's why drugs education must start at an early age," he told Sonshine TV network Friday. He said the youth must know the pitfalls of drugs from the start.

The mayor however did not yet elaborate how the mandatory drugs education would be carried out in both public and private schools or if it has already been consulted with the Department of Education.

Days before and after his testimony at the city council on Oct. 17, Duterte spoke frequently about anti-drugs campaign following intelligence reports that Mayor Talib Abu of Parang, Maguindanao reportedly delivered 3.5 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu to the city using an ambulance.

Duterte identified Abu as one of two major sources of illegal drugs sold in Mindanao. Abu has denied the charge and dismissed it as a "recycled issue" peddled by his political rivals.

Duterte said even if the city does not produce illegal drugs, dealers have preyed on the youth coming from both rich and poor families.

"Why Davao? It is the most progressive city in Mindanao," he said.

Duterte hit drug dependents as "morons" for choosing to "ruin their lives" with substance abuse. He has repeatedly described drug dependents as "people with IQ (intelligence quotient) as low as 14".

"Why do you have to destroy your lives, and sever family ties?" he asked.

In a forum against drugs and gangs last month at the University of Immaculate Conception, Duterte called on parents to monitor their children's affairs and warned against indifference to drug abuse.

But the mayor said the fight against drugs is hard. "Napakahirap talaga kung ang kalaban mo ay pera," (It is really very difficult if your enemy is money) he said.

He cited the case last year of a drug lord who when cornered offered P200 million in four installments in exchange for his life.

Duterte revealed "messy incidents in the PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency)." On Oct. 17, he clarified at the city council that he was referring to PDEA in Manila.

He announced the arrest of police officers Enrique Ayao, Jr. and Arnold Dechavez on Oct. 20 against whom he will personally draft the complaint. He said even if they were not caught in possession of drugs, he still has a case for them.

Earlier, Duterte announced they will sue both officers for administrative and criminal liability. He said he has witnesses who would testify that Ayao and Dechavez worked with slain drug dealer Luis Francisco Jr., an engineer who was linked to Mayor Abu.

The mayor denied that some high-ranking local government and police officials are involved in illegal drugs trade.

But PDEA regional director Wilkins Villanueva warned against narco-politics. Last week he told reporters PDEA is on alert against the possibility of money from illegal drugs being used as campaign funds.