LA TRINIDAD Benguet – Benguet students got to know more about peace and stability in the region , and maritime security and cooperation, two of the six thematic priorities of ASEAN or the Association of Southeast Asian Nation during the PIA – led ASEAN Youth Forum at the Benguet State University here, Monday (October 23).
Police Chief Inspector Kimberly Molitas from Kibungan, Benguet and Public Information Chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), outlined the importance of battling transnational crimes especially to archipelagic country like the Philippines, not only for ensuring peace and order and security for the Filipino people, but also to spur development by assuring foreign tourists and investors that it is safe to visit and do business in the country.
The illegal drug trade and terrorism, which the country is currently fighting, as well as human trafficking and cybercrimes are examples of transnational crimes that threaten the country and the ASEAN region as they cross boundaries and territories, Molitas told over 800 high school and college students from different Benguet schools and universities.
Molitas from Kibungan, Benguet is the first Filipino policewoman to complete a Fulbright year as a Hubert Humprey Fellow at the University of Minnesota (USA) where she studied public policy analysis and public administration focusing on integrating the efforts of law enforcers among neighboring countries to combat transnational crime.
She stressed on the importance of being well informed and getting involved on socio – economic, political – security and developmental efforts of the country and of ASEAN as one region especially for the young people who are directly affected by this regional integration.
Meanwhile, on the Philippines’ war on drugs, Molitas shared that there are now countries who signified interest in replicating the country’s strategies especially on making around 1.3 million illegal drug users and personalities voluntary surrender and submit themselves for rehabilitation program.
Though there were around 3,000 illegal drug related death or murder cases being implicated on the country’s war on drugs, the government through the Philippine National Police assured that the cases are being properly investigated and even PNP personnel if found guilty will not be spared, she said.
What is more significant is for people to look at the bigger picture wherein around 1.3 million drug surrenderers were given a chance to change or begin a new life and become active members of the society, Molitas stressed.
The forum at BSU was the last leg of ASEAN Youth Forum of the PIA in the Cordillera Administrative Region, in partnership with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education. /PIA CAR