The government has made significant headway in the fight against illegal drugs, terrorism and communist insurgency in the past five years, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said.
During an interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy in Davao City on Tuesday, the President gave his views on a wide range of issues such as the war on drugs, corruption, communist rebellion and the current political scene.
With regard to the campaign against illegal narcotics, President Duterte said there is a substantial decline in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country due to much improved intelligence gathering by the authorities.
“Well, we have seen a lessening of the drugs actually in the Philippines,” the President told Quiboloy.
“Dito sa Davao wala na, eh tingi-tingi. But sa ibang lugar mayroon Maynila but they are almost paralyzed because we have a better intelligence now and it’s working. Kagaya noon sabi ko I will end the problem of drugs in Manila or in the Philippines,” he added.
The administration is also doing well in confronting terrorism, which is also linked to illegal drug trade, he said, adding terroristic activities were also contained.
“Ako talaga ay hardliner, and ganoon talaga ako noon pa, hardliner ako. So since the beginning of my presidency, we have shown our determination in combatting insurgency and terrorism with the end goal of attaining lasting sustainable peace in the country,” President Duterte said.
The chief executive lauded government forces for apprehending thousands of lawless elements that substantially decreased the strength of terrorist organizations in the past five years.
Acknowledging the decades-long terroristic activities and communist insurgency plaguing the country, President Duterte said his government launched a multi-sectoral approach to address the problem.
“I am, thus, very grateful to our government forces in making it possible for us to sustain the momentum of the whole-of-the-nation approach to end the insurgency and terrorism,” he said.
The President assured the people that the government would continue to carry out socio-economic development mechanisms to address the root causes of the peace and order problem in the country.
There’s a need to win the hearts and minds of the people so that they would not be easily fall prey to the manipulation of the insurgents and extremist groups, he said.
President Duterte also tackled the restoration of the death penalty in the country aimed at deterring would-be criminals.
“I have always been for the restoration of the death penalty. I think the law was not abrogated, suspended lang. So wala. Sinuspend (suspend) lang ‘yong mga — just ‘yong the act of killing a criminal,” he said.
“Ako, basta heinous crime, heinous crime, drugs tapos ‘yong nangyayari ng — sabi mo ‘yong the atrocities committed against so many innocent persons,” he added. PND