By FRED M. LOBO
PRESIDENT Duterte reported on the accomplishments of his administration in thecontinuing war on drugs and other crimes and in the campaign against graft and corruption.
Make no mistake, they will be continued relentlessly, DU30 vowed.
In his State of the Nation Address (SONA), Duterte likewise warned rice cartels and hoarders, profiteers and other economic saboteurs to stop their illegal activities that are contributing to inflation and higher prices.
Stop messing the economy or justice will catch up with you, the Punisher warned.
The President also vowed to break labor contractualization or the “endo” practice with the help of Congress and end the “duopoly” in the telecommunications industry with the entry of a third player.
Make way for social justice, good service, and economic development, Duterte urged.
Duterte also warned open-pit miners against destroying mountains and rivers as he declared that “protection of the environment is top priority…and inter-generational responsibility” amid worsening climate change.
Do not destroy the environment or I’ll run after you, he said.
Duterte vowed to pursue an “independent foreign policy,” cooperation with China without abandonment of Philippine interests in the South China Sea, and protection of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
War is not an option. Cooperation is our direction, he declared.
The President also vowed to sign and implement the Bangsamoro Organic Law, formerly BBL, as ratified by Congress.
Real assistance, development, and peace, not just promises, for Mindanao, Duterte stressed.
The President, likewise, called on Congress to enact needed measures for: promoting ease in doing business, creation of a Department of Disaster Management, rice tarrification for freer rice importation, a ban on contractualization, universal health care, a farmers’ coco levy trust fund, a second tax reform law or TRAIN, and a new federal constitution via a Constituent Assembly.
More reforms and actions but no extension for my term, Duterte vowed.
Duterte delivered a short 35-minute SONA, adhering strictly to his prepared speech, devoid of his usual informal comments.
The DU30 surprise: “Short, clear, clean, and effective SONA,” observers said.
The President’s SONA was delayed by an hour and a half as in a surprise move, the House voted to elect a new speaker in the person of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, replacing Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
“Goodbye Pante, hello Glory,” the congressmen whispered in between.
The new pro-GMA House coalition said: “There is need for a pro-active legislature, that would safeguard economic growth, secure the safety of the people, and provide a credible and competent House leadership to steer debate on pressing national issues.”
Support for DU30 vowed by the new House leadership as he faces his third year in office.
Duterte said his war on drugs will not be sidelined but will instead be made “relentless.”
“Your concern is human rights. My concern is human lives,” he declared.
Malacanang cited that seven in 10 Filipinos consider the eradication of illegal drugs as the most important achievement of the Duterte administration in the past two years, as per the latest Pulse Asia survey .
Ratio of 7:3 is convincing majority, the Palace said.
The Palace said that 50 percent considered the anti-crime efforts of the Duterte administration as its most significant achievement.
Anti-crime campaign has people support, too, Malacañang asserted.
The Pulse Asia nationwide survey (conducted June 15-21 among 1,800 respondents) also considered as important achievements of the administration the salary increase for police and military personnel (30 percent), its fight against graft and corruption in government (28 percent), the granting of free tuition to students enrolled in public universities and colleges (21percent), and creation of more jobs (15 percent).