22 JULY 2009

More image than substance.

This was how Makati Mayor and United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar C. Binay described Malacanang’s bungled attempt to score PR points in the war against drugs.

Binay said Malacanang’s sudden turnabout on the reported rape and abduction of a daughter of an anti-drug agent – a story later denied by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA) – “shows the administration’s predisposition to put image before substance,” he said.

“What Malacanang is waging is a PR war against drugs. This administration does not match its rhetoric with simple yet concrete actions, like increasing the budget of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA),” he said.

“Malacanang will say and do anything it thinks will project Mrs. Arroyo in good light, while ignoring the need for substantive and long-term policies,” he said.

Mrs. Arroyo made herself anti-drug czar in January, after controversy and in-fighting between government agencies marred the arrest of suspected drug pushers known as the “Alabang Boys.”

“What has happened to the war since Mrs. Arroyo took command? The public deserves a full accounting of how the anti-drug czar is conducting the war on drugs,” he said.

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