Duterte’s drug war a 'tremendous success', says DILG spox

Published July 25, 2021, 2:10 PM

by Chito Chavez

A spokesman for the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) praised what he describes as a “tremendous success” of the drug war launched by President Duterte since July 2016.

“Yung kritiko they focus on the EJK (extra judicial killings). Ang narrative nila ipakita na it has been a failure. (The critics focus is on the alleged EJK. Their narrative is to show that it has been a failure). I do not think it is a failure, it has been a tremendous success,’’ DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in an interview over dzBB.

Malaya’s statement came amid threats that Duterte would be made accountable before the international court for what critics described as a bloody drug war that allegedly targeted small-time drug pushers and users, thousands of them died in police operations while tens of thousands more were reportedly killed by drug war-inspired vigilante groups.

Critics were also mocking Duterte for his alleged failure to fulfill his campaign promise of ending illegal drugs problems in the country within the first three to six months of his term. His vice presidential candidate then, Alan Peter Cayetano, also bragged that the Philippines would be Singapore-like in terms of peace and order if Duterte is elected as president.

But, Malaya explained that no country has even been able to completely eradicate narcotics despite their resources stressing that the important thing is that the government has stopped the country’s illegal drug woes from turning worse.

Even in a rich country like United States, Malaya noted that the illegal drug problems has not been solved saying that “what is important is you keep it at bay.’’

Previously, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said P49.31-billion worth of illegal drugs were seized while more than 293,841 illegal drug personalities were arrested with 12,356 of them considered as high-value targets (HVT) as of May 31, 2021.

Roque admitted that the three to six month target of the government to obtain the desired results in its campaign against illegal drugs was not met but noted that these are “proper measurements’’ stressing that the drug war is successful.