PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte called on all Filipinos to help the government in fighting the society’s ills as he vowed to continue the government’s unrelenting war on illegal drugs, crime and corruption to attain peace and development.
“I invite everyone to be our government’s partner in our fight against illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption; and in attaining peace and development in our country,” Duterte said in his New Year message.
The President also called on the people to help in improving the country’s business environment so that working overseas will no longer be necessary among many Filipinos.
“Let us work together to enliven our business environment by attracting more investments and creating more job opportunities for our people so that, in the near future, working abroad would only be an option for our ‘kababayans’ and not a necessity.”
“The achievement of these goals will reclaim order and safety in our communities and will enable us to restore the public’s trust in government and in our capacity to serve,” he added.
The President’s message coincided with a report from Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar the number of drug surrenderers had breached the one million mark, which he claimed made the President’s anti-drug war a “success.”
“It is evident we are hitting the mark in our campaign against illegal drugs. But more than the statistics, the real score in the government’s intensified anti-drug operations is that it has pulled down the country’s crime rate by 32 percent,” Andanar pointed out, citing the latest report from the PNP.
He attributed the President’s high satisfaction, approval and trust ratings from his successful anti-drug war which resulted in lower crimes.
“People feel safer in the streets and at night because the number of theft, carjacking, robbery, rape, physical injury has decreased. At the end of the day, this is what counts,” Andanar added.
As of 6 a.m. on Dec. 31, a total 1,007,153 drug personalities have yielded to the authorities since July 1.
Of this figure, 74,916 were pushers and 932,237 were users, he said, citing PNP data.
In his message, Duterte also called on government workers not to forget the lessons of the past year, even as the country moves forward to another.
“One year has ended and another has taken its place. Soon, we will be once again preoccupied with our daily grind and usual day-to-day activities.
“Many will forget the events of the past year. But we in government [have this] solemn duty to evaluate our work and make sure that its gains redound to the common good.”
In a recent interview, the President warned officials in government to expect him to be more strict and more unforgiving on corruption in 2017.
“I’ll be more stricter (sic)—no corruption. I’ll really punch you in public, either I can slap or kick you if you use the money of the people. Do not use that, even a single centavo on the first whiff,” Duterte told ANC.
“If you do that, the Cabinet Secretary will have to let you go. If you cannot control your people, go out of your post,” he added.
In the same New Year’s message, the President also told Filipinos to take the time off to be with loved ones in ushering the new year.
“There is no greater happiness than spending time with loved ones during the holiday season. I hope that we will enjoy this time of the year by demonstrating love, solidarity, understanding, happiness, and optimism towards our personal ambitions and national aspirations.”
“Let us all welcome 2017 with renewed determination and reinvigorated spirit so that we can surmount the challenges ahead. I wish all of us a fruitful and meaningful New Year.”
According to Andanar, out of the 40,371 anti-drug operations conducted by the PNP from July 1 to December 31 under Project Double Barrel Alpha, 43,114 were arrested and 2,167 were neutralized.
Moreover, a total 5,911,306 houses have been visited in the same period through Oplan Tokhang, where police personnel knock on the houses of suspected drug personalities and ask them to mend their ways.
Treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts form part of the second phase of the President’s anti-drug war.
The Duterte administration recently inaugurated a mega drug rehabilitation facility in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija and expects treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts to be in full swing by 2017.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.