Duterte’s pain reduced but drug problem still ‘serious’

Published October 31, 2019, 4:15 PM

by Fred Lobo

PUNCHLINE

By FRED LOBO

Fred M. Lobo

Fred M. Lobo

Malacañang has announced that the pain in President Duterte’s lower back has greatly eased.

“Just in pain but improving “so don’t speculate badly about the President’s health, the Palace said.

* * *

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo admitted that the President was hurt by his motorcycle ride and fall last week but “only one-fourth” of the “unbearable pain” remains.

Translation: Don’t worry, folks.Ayos lang si Digong Matibay.

* * *

“The President mentioned something about his health because I asked him directly… his response was, ‘the pain is only one-fourth now, the three-fourths is gone,’” Panelo said, adding that longtime partner Honeylet Avanceña, Paneloeven saw the President use a treadmill last Sunday.

“In other words, there was a considerable easing of pain,” Panelo added.

* * *

Panelo said that there was nothing serious about the President’s condition as doctors said it was just caused by “muscle spasm.”

He is expected to visit his parents’ tomb in Davao City this All Souls’ Day, the spokesman added.

* * *

The President, meanwhile, expressed displeasure over Vice President Leni Robredo’s suggested “tweaking” of the administration’s controversial war on drugs.

Additional pain from the political front, Palace Boys claimed.

* * *

“I’ll give you six months. Let’s see if you can do it,” Duterte teased the VP about directly handling the drug problem herself.

“I don’t want to pay serious attention to it because I don’t know how serious he is,” the VP reacted.

* * *

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano disclosed that the drug menace has actually become a ₱210-billion annual industry.

Big business and deeply entrenched, he said.

* * *

“Remember, this is a ₱210-billion industry. And this is just for shabu alone,” the Speaker stressed.

“That is the real magnitude that we have to eradicate.”

* * *

The speaker begged to disagree with the VP’s observation that Duterte’s campaign against the proliferation
of drugs has failed.

“It’s not a failure, I disagree with her. What the VP said is that many have been killed but there are still many pushers. But in truth, many are also afraid to go into drugs,” Cayetano asserted.

* * *

“Why (do) more than 80 percent of our people believe that it’s safer now in the Philippines?” Cayetano asked, referring to a previous survey.

“Yes, there are problems, even in the police organization itself. What is happening now only highlights and proves the point of the President of how difficult it is to fight this drug industry, which has penetrated the (Philippine National Police), the justice system, the prosecutors,” he explained.

* * *

“I really hope that what the VP said was different, because the way it came out is that there should be no war on drugs,” he said.

“We have to be careful of our words,” the speaker cautioned.

* * *

Anakalusugan party-list Rep Mike Defensor proposed the deployment of military personnel to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City to cleanse the national penitentiary of rogue guards and drug-trafficking.

“If the President would decide, I would support that members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines be deployed there just to fix the situation,” Defensor suggested.

* * *

ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap added that the recent discovery of connivance between a SAF personnel and NBP officials in the smuggling of drugs and other contraband in Muntinlupa is a good development.

“We have to be tough on them. Let’s monitor if charges will indeed be filed against these rogue cops,” he said.

* * *

Meanwhile, police forces and PDEA agents around the country were placed under the highest security alert for the observance of the All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day.

Project Undaspot, Oplan: Harabas to include drug tests on bus drivers and conductors.

* * *

Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, officer in-charge of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said he has placed “the entire PNP on full alert to ensure the availability of all personnel and resources for law enforcement and public safety operations this weekend.”

More than 35,000 policemen will be deployed in cemeteries and columbaries across the country, with the help of some 100,000 volunteers, he assured.

* * *

Gamboa added that police commanders have been instructed to secure all the 83 airports and domestic air terminals, 333 seaports, 808 bus terminals and 59 train stations nationwide.

 
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