Buhay Partylist Representative Lito Atienza questioned Sunday the apparent ‘special treatment’ being extended by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to suspected big-time drug lords while those considered ‘small fries’ figure in a spate of extrajudicial killings.
Atienza clarified though that Duterte has his support on his ongoing war versus illegal drugs but he just could not help but notice the conspicuous differences in his approach when dealing with alleged drug lords and their ordinary traffickers.
“We want all those engaged in the illicit drug trade, big and small, but especially the big ones, captured and locked up. But we cannot tolerate summary executions, especially if all those targeted are mere street-level pushers,” Atienza said in a statement.
“We have to eradicate the big-time traffickers first, as well as their coddlers in law enforcement, if we are to effectively suppress the supply side of the drug problem. We’re afraid getting rid of the easily replaceable smallest players in the supply chain won’t make much of a dent,” he added.
While Duterte already implicated five active and retired police generals on the issue, Atienza said the administration is yet to take a strong action against them beyond being shamed in public and relieved of their duties.
He was referring to Chief Superintendents Joel Pagdilao, Bernado Diaz, and Edgardo Tinio, retired Police Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo, and former Chief Superintendent now Daanbantayan Mayor Vicente Loot who are collectively regarded as ‘narco generals.’