TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, July 4 (PIA) - - Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director-General, Undersecretary Wilkins M. Villanueva, has urged former drug dependents to come out and be productive, and serve as advocates of the state's anti-drug abuse programs.
During his recent visit in Cagayan Valley region where he led the formal declaration of the province of Quirino and 92 barangays all over the region as drug cleared, he said the era of stigma is already over for drug dependents, especially those who have successfully graduated from the drug rehabilitation program of the government and are now enjoying freedom and fruitful living.
"Gone are the days that former drug dependents hide. Today, a lot of them are productive. They are proud recipients of our rehabilitation program. They are now our partners in the war on drugs," Villanueva said.
According to him, there were already 440,000 drug personalities nationwide who have completed the drug rehabilitation program of the government since President Rodrigo Roa Duterte laid his war on drugs campaign.
"These are the beneficiaries of the various interventions of the government agencies and other sectors of our society. These are the former drug personalities who were given the second chance to live meaningfully," he added.
Villanueva, who served as PDEA regional director in Northern Mindanao and former member of the Philippine National Police, said the former drug personalities in the region where he served have already organized themselves and now serving as advocates of the anti drug program of the government.
As the newly appointed director-general of the country's top anti-narcotics agency, Villanueva vowed to further improve the operations of the agency to run after illegal drug personalities with the help of the police, other government agencies, the civic organizations and the public. (BME/OTB/PIA-Cagayan)