Last March, news about showbiz personalities allegedly being included in the government’s current narco watch-list rocked the local entertainment industry.
In an interview on ANC’s Headstart, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino revealed that a total of 20 actors and 11 actresses have been under their radar for a while now due to suspected use and peddling of illegal drugs. “[Sa] thirty-one na yan, palagay ko tatlo lang yung matanda. All of them are young. Puro bata, at least 20 or 30 in age,” he said.
“Meron pong user ng ecstasy, cocaine, merong shabu, merong party drugs. Karamihan po party drugs,” the general added.
As someone who have dealt with substance abuse in the past – and has since recovered by going into rehab for three years – actor JM de Guzman believes that showbiz personalities have a social responsibility to “set an example” in the fight against drug abuse and trafficking.
But this social responsibility should be a two-way street. Looking back on his dark past, JM shared the one thing that had struck him while inside the rehab: people who get involved in drug and alcohol abuse are just as human as is everybody else, and therefore should be treated as such.
“Tatlong taon po akong na sa loob ng rehab. Araw-araw, kasama ko mga adik, pusher. Hindi lang po sila adik. Hindi lang po sila nag-take ng drugs. May pinagdaanan din sila na hindi nila kinaya. They chose a different path to patch it up, and to move on, and to fight,” he said.
“Ang hinihiling ko lang, sana … huwag lang po sanang masaklap ‘yung pagtrato sa kanila. Umabot na sa point na pinapatay na nga, e… Ako, na sa posisyon ngayon na maging example na hindi lang kami hanggang doon,” he said.
JM gave his two-cents during the press conference for his upcoming film, ‘Last Fool Show’, which he stars opposite Arci Munoz and which is set to premiere this Wednesday, April 10.
However, the actor clarified that he still supports PDEA’s initiatives, citing that he is willing to undergo a drug test “anytime, anywhere”.