By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Top players in President Duterte’s relentless war against illegal drugs expressed hope that the Chief Executive will not step down in order to finish the campaign they started.
Interior (DILG) officer-in-charge Eduardo Año and Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Secretary Catalino Cuy made the statement after Duterte expressed that he wants to step down as President after getting frustrated about the issue.
In a press briefing in Malacañang, Año said that he does not want to annotate Duterte’s statements but attributed the success of the drug war to the President’s resolve to put an end in the illegal drug trade.
“I’m not in the position to determine whether he is serious or not, but there is actually a constitutional provision for everything,” he said.
“Our vibrant energy in fighting drugs comes from his leadership and hindi isguro mangyayari lahat ito kung hindi dahil sa kanyang (and maybe all of this will not happen if not for his) sincerity and conviction to fight drugs,” he added.
“But we hope the President will finish his term because we have so much more to do, more job to do,” he continued.
According to Año, the fight against illegal drugs cannot be done overnight, especially when the country just realized how big of a problem the illegal drug trade is.
“You cannot do this overnight, finish this problem. Even siguro (Not even in) one year or two years. Kaya sinasabi natin baka 2022. Hindi ito lumaki, na-discover natin na ganito pala ito kalaki (That’s why we are saying that maybe in 2022. The problem did not grow, we just discovered that it was already a big problem),” he said.
Año, the former Armed Forces chief, said the government’s fight against illegal drugs is more effective under the Duterte administration because soldiers are now also involved in the campaign.
“Masasabi natin na malaki ‘yung epekto sa safety ng ating mga tao sa (We can say that this has a huge effect in the safety of the people in the) community. They feel safer, even going home late, malaking (it’s a big) convenience and confidence sa kanila (for them). Before the Duterte admin, hindi kasi ganito kalaki ‘yung focus sa (there was not such big focus on) drug operations,” he said.
“This time, I think everyone’s aware that the whole country is involved in the war against drugs,” he added.
“Even before this administration, napakalaking problema na ng country natin sa drugs. Nakita lang natin ito nang magsimula ang relentless efforts. Lahat tayo nagising eh (we already had a huge problem in illegal drugs in this country. We only realized it when the relentless efforts commenced. We all woke up then),” he continued.
A big corporation
Cuy, meanwhile, compared the illegal drug trade to a giant corporation which produces the substance to cater to the demands of their target market.
He then explained that the number of arrests and confiscations related to illegal drugs only prove two things: it is either there are more reports made, or there is no one being arrested.