A “calmer” President Rodrigo Duterte summoned governors to Malacañang on Thursday to appraise them on the proliferation of illegal drugs.
“I just had a talk with the governors … And I gave them the same message, which is the problem of the country,” Duterte said in a speech during the oathtaking of Philippine National Police officials.
He said he appealed to the governors to help the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.
Duterte said illegal drugs affected all sectors, noting that “the enormity of the problem is staggering.”
“We have a huge problem actually. It does not only involve national security but likewise the Filipino man, human being and this has destroyed many lives. Police generals, mayors, governors, and barangay captains, everyone,” he added.
PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said Duterte was “calmer” during his meeting with the governors than he was when he met the country’s mayors last week.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, who was in the meeting, said that the President met with governors in two batches at Malacañang’s Social Hall.
Unlike the previous encounter with mayors in which he threatened to kill those who are included on the list of drug personalities, Diokno said that the President was “cracking some jokes with the governors.”
“[The Presdient] did not mention any names of governors linked to illegal drugs,” Diokno said in a chance interview.
Dela Rosa added that Duterte urged governors to use the full might of the government’s resources to fight the war on drugs in their respective provinces.
More than 6,000 people have been killed since the President mounted his campaign against what he called a “pandemic” in July.