Senator Antonio Trillanes IV recently came up with a bright idea about where the thousands of drug surrenderees that need medical intervention and rehabilitation could be housed—at Hacienda Binay.
How can this be possible? Simple—just sequester the property.
Trillanes asked President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration on Sunday to confiscate or sequester the highly controversial “Hacienda Binay” located in Batangas and turn it into a drug rehab facility and treatment center.
The 350-hectare farm will be more than enough to accommodate the present number of drug dependents and the influx of more surrenderees in the coming days, Trillanes said.
The anti-drug campaign of the government is proving to be a success with thousands of drug users and pushers coming out in the open to surrender and get necessary medical treatment, vowing to never return to the drug trade again.
The controversial “Hacienda Binay” was the object of Senate inquiries during the election period, which some quarters said was part of a demolition job against then presidential leading bet, former Vice President Jejomar Binay. The hacienda or farm was allegedly owned by Binay and acquired through businessman Antonio Tiu.
This enormous farm is perfect for rehabilitation because of its “vast area and serene environment,” Trillanes added.
In the Senate hearings, it was raised that the farm was illegally acquired by Binay and also violated provisions in the existing agrarian reform law. Therefore, said Trillanes in a statement: “The current administration must immediately act to sequester this land and put it into good use by converting it into a treatment and rehabilitation facility.”
Not withstanding the overwhelming success of the anti-drug campaign dubbed Oplan Tokhang, the PNP still has to decide where to contain the thousands of drug surrenderees who need long-term treatment and close and systematic monitoring.
Temporarily, drug users are required to regularly attend helpful physical activities, like zumba sessions, in public town centers where attendance is closely recorded. But even this is not enough, the PNP admitted. Some drug patients need to be confined.
Trillanes believes that Hacienda Binay holds the answer. According to him, converting the property will greatly bolster the Duterte administration’s all-out war against drugs.
The senator, who ran for vice president in the recent May elections (but lost) and who exposed alleged suspicious bank accounts of then presidential bet and former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, noted that aside from plain monitoring surrendered drug dependents, “the government has yet to implement a concrete program to ensure that these drug users will not return to their old ways.”
Trillanes also decried how “we do not have a concrete plan, as well as facilities, to rehabilitate them (the drug users and pushers who have surrendered to the authorities).”
He challenged the government that, “Any serious anti-illegal drug drive should include a rehabilitation program for drug users. We must treat and rehabilitate them, and prepare them for social reintegration.”
Duterte’s camp has not yet reacted to Trillanes’ proposal.