PASAY CITY — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, February 25, asked the support of barangay officials in tackling the major concerns confronting the country today, particularly law and order, corruption, and illegal drugs.
“We have a problem actually. It’s a very serious one. Gusto ko lang mag-iwan…kung wala man akong iiwan eh ito na lang salita ko. If there is anything that I can leave you which might be good to pass [on] to the next generation and to the president who will succeed me particularly, ito ang dapat niyang intindihin at kung maari he will adopt more stringent measures to protect the people and preserve the Republic of the Philippines,” the President said in a speech during the 1st National Assembly of the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas held at the SMX Convention Center.
He told barangay leaders that a country in disarray would never develop, and it is everybody’s priority to attain peace and order at the local level.
He particularly mentioned Mindanao as a region that needs peace and order owing to its tremendous potential in agriculture and energy. Its soil is fertile and also believed to have huge amount of energy reserves.
The President praised the efforts behind the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which he said would pave the way for a peaceful Mindanao in the long term.
Highlighting Mindanao’s natural resources, he said that with the implementation of the peace agreement with the government, the Muslim people could use the region’s natural wealth for their development.
He made an assurance that the region’s resources would be for the Mindanao people alone and that his administration would be fair to all.
In tackling corruption, the President warned corrupt judges to mend their ways and stop acquitting people through technicalities. Courts must also stop issuing unreasonable temporary restraining orders (TROs) that affect government projects.
“You guys, you better shape up. The projects…they cannot move. You entertain cases then it’s appealed. It stays there in the Court of Appeals for 10 years then the Republic of the Philippines is still floating until now,” the President said.
The President also renewed his commitment to finish the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, noting that it is a bad time for drug traffickers to be in such business.
“I will make this statement very, very clear. I promised you that at this time of our national life, it is the time… during my time…that it would be very, very dangerous for anybody to do drugs,” he said.
As local chief executives in their areas, barangay leaders play a major role in helping the national government address challenges, according to the President.
And like the commitment he made to the police and the military, President Duterte assured the barangay officials of his support whenever they face prosecution. He said he would shield them from charges if the cases against them are work-related.
Barangay officials will not go to jail as long as they are doing their duties and executing their mandates based on the law, the President said.
As the country gears for the midterm elections this year, President Duterte asked the support of barangay officials to back candidates who can push the administration’s legislative agenda. ###PND