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Palace touts gains in Marcos Jr. campaign vs drugs

MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos yesterday encouraged Filipinos to plan their transactions and vacations this year and to use the long weekends to bond with their families.

In a Facebook post, Marcos shared a list of 2024 holidays including the four long weekends during the Holy Week and in August, November and December.

“Let us plan our transactions and vacations carefully to achieve a productive and prosp erous year,” he said.

The first long weekend of the year will be from March 28 to 31, the last thr ee days of Holy Week declared as holidays and Easter Sunday.

National Heroes Day, also a holiday, will be commemorated on Aug. 26.

The observance of All Saints’ Day on Nov. 1 and All Souls’ Day on Nov. 2 will fall on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

The last two holidays of 2024 – Rizal Day (Dec. 30) and the last day of the year (Dec. 31) – will fall on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

Malacañang listed the regular and special non-working days for the year through Proclamation 368 issued last October.

The regular holidays for this year are Jan. 1 (New Year’s Day), March 28 (Maundy Thursday), March 29 (Good Friday), April 9 (Araw ng Kagitingan), May 1 (Labor Day), June 12 (Independence Day), Aug. 26 (National Heroes Day) Nov. 30 (Bonifacio Day), Dec. 25 (Christmas Day) and Dec. 30 (Rizal Day).

The special non-working days are Aug. 21 (Ninoy Aquino Day), Nov. 1 (All Saints’ Day), Dec. 8 (Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary) and Dec. 31 (last day of the year).

Feb. 25, the anniv ersary of the people power revolt that toppled the Marcos dictatorship in 1986, falls on a Sunday this year.

Additional special non-working days are Feb. 10 (Chinese New Year), March 30 (Black Saturday), Nov. 2 (All Souls’ Day) and Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve).

The declarations for Eid’l Fitr and Eid’l Adha will be issued after the dates of the Islamic holidays have been determined in accordance with the Islamic calendar or upon Islamic astronomical calculations.the proclamation said.

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang yesterday touted the gains of President Marcos’ anti-drug ca mpaign, which differed from the previous Duterte administration’s controversial war on drugs.

In a statement, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said P10.41 billion worth of illegal drugs were seized in 2023 and 27,968 barangays were cleared of narcotics.

As of Dec. 27, 2023, there were 23 provi nces, 447 municipalities and 43 cities that established their respective community-based drug rehabilitation programs.

Citing a Philippine National Police report, the PCO added that 56,495 suspects were arrested in more than 44,000 anti-illegal drug operations.

There were also 50 provinces, 1,160 municipalities and 30 cities with “functional” anti-drug abuse councils at the local level while 74 in-patient treatment and rehabilitation facilities were also established.“The recent government successes were under President Marcos’ new approach to address illegal drugs by focusing on rehabilitation, reintegration, and preventive education programs specifically for the youth,” the PCO said.

Marcos’ predecessor, former president Rodrigo Duterte, had launched a bloody crackdown on illegal drugs. More than 6,000 suspected drug offenders were killed under the controversial campaign, which drew criticism from human rights groups.

Duterte had insisted he would only face cases before a Philippine court after complaints were filed before the International Criminal Court.

In a September 2022 speech delivered in New York, Marcos said there is a need to “learn lessons” from the previous administration’s experience, noting that enforcement “only gets you so far.”

In May 2023, Marcos acknowledged that “abuses” were committed in the previous administration’s anti-drug campaign.

He added that syndicates “have grown stronger and wealthier and more influential.”        

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