The Philippine antidrug campaign mobilized the police, local governments, and other state entities in the fight against illegal drugs. This section contains the most important government memoranda, circulars, and other documents that lay out the goals of the campaign and the roles of different state agencies in its implementation. While past governments have enacted laws and policies to combat drugs, the Duterte government made the antidrug campaign a centerpiece of government policy and mobilized state agencies for the campaign in an unprecedented way.
Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 , passed by Congress, lays out penalties of up to life imprisonment for manufacturing or importing dangerous drugs and for selling, trading and administering such drugs.
The National Anti-Drug Plan of Action 2015-2020 was drafted by the Dangerous Drugs Board during the presidency of President Benigno Aquino. It provides a broad framework for fighting drug abuse by reducing both the demand and supply of drugs. The Dangerous Drugs Board is the government “policy making and strategy-formulating body on drug addiction and control.” Its action plan shows a reduction in drug addiction in the Philippines – with estimates, extrapolating from surveys of drug use, down from 6.7 million in 2004 to 1.3 million in 2012.
The Command Memorandum Circular No. 16-2016 was issued by the then newly appointed chief of the Philippine National Police, Chief Supt. Roland Dela Rosa, on July 1, 2016, President Duterte’s first day in office. This circular laid out the framework for Duterte’s antidrug campaign, Project Double Barrel. The campaign has two prongs: one targeting big-time drug syndicates, and Project Tokhang, which entailed policemen knocking on the doors of drug suspects to “persuade” them to stop their illegal drug activities. The circular also directed “all police offices/units/stations” to “conduct massive and simultaneous operations” starting that day.
Board Regulation No. 3, Series of 2016 was issued by the Dangerous Drugs Board on August 3, 2016 sets guidelines for the “voluntary surrender” of drug suspects. It says that voluntary surrender does not guarantee they will not be subject to an antidrug operation. The guidelines include filming the surrender; getting personal information on the surrenderees, including a sketch of the location of their homes; mandating a urine test; and eliciting a voluntary confession and signing an affidavit attesting to drug involvement. Mobile phones may be requested for inspection. If the suspect has a pending warrant, he or she may be held in custody. Drug users will be asked to undergo rehabilitation.
Memorandum Circular No.2016-116 , issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government on September 2, 2016, provides guidelines of the creation of a grassroots surveillance network that would report drug suspects to local and police officials. This network is called Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Iligal na Droga (MASA MASID).
Board Regulation No. 4, Series of 2016 was issued by the Dangerous Drugs Board on September 19, 2016, sets more specific guidelines to be followed by national and local government agencies for the “voluntary surrender” of drug suspects. Local officials are tasked with assessing the level of risk of the drug suspects and providing appropriate interventions. It also mandates each local government unit to map out the creation of an antidrug council and a plan for the council. Page 12 and 13 of the regulation has forms that local governments can use for getting information on drug users and dealers.
Executive Order No. 4, issued by President Duterte on October 17, 2016, provides for the establishment of drug treatment and rehabilitation centers throughout the country. It creates an inter-agency task force headed by the Department of Interior and Local Government to find suitable locations for such centers and support their establishment.
Board Regulation No.3, Series of 2017, issued by the Dangerous Drugs Board on February 14, 2017,and called “Strengthening the Implementation of Barangay Drug Clearing Program,” aims to strengthen barangay participation in the anti-illegal drug campaign through the creation of Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils. The BADACs are supposed to maintain an “inventory of drug personalities” in their barangay and to assist law enforcement in antidrug operations.
Executive Order No. 15, s.2017, issued by President Duterte on March 6, 2017, created the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) and an Anti-Illegal Drug Task Force. The ICAD, chaired by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, got 20 government agencies together to ensure implementation of the antidrug campaign.
Memorandum Circular No. 2017-112, issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government on August 29, 2017, revised the MASA MASID guidelines so that the surveillance network would also report violent extremists and other threats to peace and security.
Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2018-01, issued jointly by the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Dangerous Drugs Board on May 21, 2018, provides the implementing guidelines for the formation of local antidrug abuse councils or ADACs. It specifically asks local Sangguniang Bayan or legislative councils to set aside funds for antidrug programs, activities, and operations