A retired military general is expected to head the government's Dangerous Drug Board (DDB), a body that plans and formulates policies and programs on the prevention and control of illegal drugs in the country. The DDB is responsible for developing and adopting an integrated, unified and balanced drug abuse prevention strategy.
The announcement was made by Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella who said that Santiago's return to the national government will greatly contribute to the president's dream to totally eradicate drugs in the country.
Abella also said that everyone knew President Duterte's goal to eradicate drug even before he became president. Duterte earlier said that narco-politics is already existing in the Philippines where unscrupulous politicians were serving as protectors of the illegal drugs industry.
As a former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Santiago can tackle country's drug problem with his knowledge derived from years of experience, Abella said.
Santiago is expected to replace Benjamin Reyes in the DDB who presented inconsistent statistics to the public that caught the ire of Duterte when he was the head of the board.
Santiago served as the head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) from 2006 to 2010. He also became the director of the Bureau of Corrections from 2003 to 2004.
His profile also showed he became the Visayas military commanding general from July 2001 to March 2002 and commanding general of the Special Operations Command from 1999 to 2001.
Santiago's challenge now is to lead the development of strategies on how to address the 3 million drug addicts and suspects in the Southeast Asian country.