By Fred M. Lobo
President Duterte has asked the Filipino people to help him face “enemies that attack from within.”
“This time, we face the modern challenges of poverty, corruption, environmental degradation, terrorism, criminality and illegal drugs,” he declared.
The President said at the 120th anniversary of Philippine independence in Kawit, Cavite, that he made as his “personal mission” the elimination of lingering challenges such as corruption, poverty, crime, and illegal drugs in the country.
Captain DU30 vows to fight problems head on.
“The story of how our forebears fought for our sovereignty and established a Filipino nation shall forever inspire us to cherish the freedoms that we enjoy all of us today,: he said.
“Sadly, more than a century since our heroes liberated us from foreign subjugation, our nation still has to face enemies that attack from within,” he lamented.
“I have made it my personal mission to rid our nation of these ills, but I cannot do it alone,” he said.
“At this crucial juncture in our history, we need to draw strength from the lessons of our past to ensure that these ills do not cause any more damage to our future,” he added.
Duterte vowed to sustain the campaign against corruption, adding that he would continue to fire officials involved in such abuses.
“I have a few more years and I will do my best, especially in the matter of graft and corruption. I have fired so many and will continue to fire everybody,” he said.
Duterte expressed his strong resolve to destroy those involved the illegal drug trade despite criticisms on alleged human rights abuses.
“Drugs – it has become a very serious problem even for other countries. Drugs will destroy my country. Do not do it because I will destroy you. Literally,” he said.
The President said he is not worried about getting impeached or killed for his war on drugs.
“Impeach mo na ako, impeach o patayin mo na ako, okay lang. Basta hindi ako papayag nang ganun (You can impeach me or kill me. That’s okay. I will not allow that to happen),” he said.
Duterte said he could not promise “economic miracles” for Filipinos but could try to make their lives comfortable.
“I just want the Filipino during my time comfortable. I’m not expecting any economic miracles. Impossible. I will be humble enough to admit that I can only do so much,” he said.
He also acknowledged the challenges posed by the country’s rising population to economic development.
“Now, if you ask me to what level of standard shall we enjoy in the next 30 years, tingin ko po hirap, hirap tayo, because of population,” he said.
“It’s a delicate matter. It’s always a dynamics between your religion and my religion and everybody else’s too,” he declared on population control.
“But there has to be a change somewhere. I don’t know when,” DU30 said.
As to alleged human rights violations, Duterte said, “Our Constitution guarantees freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and free expression, so I would just advise the law enforcement to just deal with them peacefully and (exercise) maximum tolerance,” he added.
Maximum tolerance policy declared by The Punisher.
Meanwhile, many Filipinos rejoiced as President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un concluded an extraordinary nuclear summit, with Trump pledging “security guarantees” to the North and Kim reiterating his commitment to “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
Yes to peace in Asia, including the Philippines.
Promising to “build a lasting and stable peace regime,” Trump vowed to handle a “very dangerous problem” and Kim forecast a “major change for the world.”
Yes to change, denuclearization, and lasting peace!