Ex-LA cop backs antidrug drive

Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada. AP FILE PHOTO

A retired officer of the Los Angeles Police Department on Friday expressed support for the government’s antidrug campaign even as President Duterte launched his strongest tirade yet against the United States, calling Americans “bullies.”

Scott Gilliam, who is in Manila to train members of the Manila Police District to become instructors in the local Drug Abuse Resistance Education (Dare) program, said Mr. Duterte’s efforts to rid the country of drugs was commendable.

Gilliam, director for training of Dare America, fellow mentor Jeffrey Smith and 10 other Dare instructors were invited to the country by Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, chair of Dare Philippines.

Dare is a comprehensive education program taught in thousands of schools in the United States and other countries “to address drugs, violence, bullying, Internet safety and other high-risk circumstances that today… are often a part of students’ lives.”

In the Philippines, it is being implemented in Manila, where the focus is on drug issues.
Drastic measures
“Having the same mission, you have to look at that point when things are terrible in the country. And sometimes drastic measures have to be taken to address drastic situations, or when things get beyond the point,” Gilliam said when sought for comment on the government’s antidrug drive.

Smith said the fact that the President had made an attempt to stop drugs was a “tremendous effort.”

“I know the President wants to cut down drugs in the Philippines. And I think that is very important,” Smith said.

Gilliam said it was imperative for “something different” to be done.

In a statement, Estrada said fighting the drug menace “is a fight for survival.”

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