By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte is not keen on extending any assistance to Filipinos implicated in illegal drugs and other crimes abroad.
Speaking at the national assembly of barangay leaders in Pasay City Monday night, the President cautioned overseas Filipino workers against breaking the laws of the host countries since some nations impose death penalty for certain offenses.
“Kaya kayong mga Pilipino sa labas, ‘wag ninyong gawain ‘yan kasi papatayin din kayo doon [You Filipinos abroad, do not do it because you will end up killed there],” he said while discussing his relentless war on illegal drugs.
“Do not commit the — committing crimes, your crimes in other countries. I cannot help you and I won’t help you. ‘Yan tandaan ninyo ‘yan [Remember that],” he added.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo explained the President’s position about Filipino drug offenders abroad, saying he would not seek pardon for them.
But he assured that the government would still provide legal assistance to overseas Filipinos in distress.
“What he means by that he cannot be violating the laws of other countries just like his position that you cannot violate our laws. Now if Filipinos will be engaged in drug trafficking, he will not lift a hand in the sense that he would be traveling there and asking the president for a pardon,” Panelo said during a Palace press briefing Tuesday.
“What we can do is to provide lawyers for them,” he said.
He maintained that the President’s position the issue indicated the government’s resolve to enforce laws against illegal drugs.
“It will be against our own policy too that we are very strict on the enforcement of drug laws. Pagkatapos sa ibang lugar, tayo hindi parang magiging inconsistent tayo,” he added.