Duterte’s drug war 'legacy' must be continued--Roque

Senatorial candidate and human rights lawyer Harry Roque said that President Duterte's signature drug war should be continued by the next administration as it has reduced the crime rate in the country significantly.

Senatorial candidate and former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Crime rate in the Philippines went down 73.76 percent from 2016 to 2021 according to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año during a press briefing on Monday, Feb. 21.

Roque, mirroring vice presidential bet and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s sentiments, credited the huge reduction in criminality to the administration’s war on illegal drugs.

"The government's anti-drug campaign has positively impacted the state of our public order and safety. It has created more peaceful communities," Roque said in a press statement on Wednesday, Feb. 23.

"This is also why the President continues to enjoy high trust and satisfaction rating months before his term ends. He is a true man of action in going after drug syndicates and criminals," he added.

Under the administration’s drug war, at least 8,000 drug suspects were killed from 2016 to 2019. However, some human rights groups argue that the figure could reach 20,000 to 30,000.

The fight against the drug menace has also spawned investigations into alleged human rights violations by law enforcers, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s now-suspended probe.

Roque further proposed legislation to protect the families of law enforcement agents as well as the legislative, executive, and judicial officials involved in the administration's campaign against crime.

Titled “"Freedom from Threats Act", the bill would increase legal penalties to those threatening the immediate family members of government officials and law enforcement agents.

This is meant to protect the interests of public officials and allow them to perform their duties without fear of retaliation.

Roque is gunning for a senatorial seat under the UniTeam banner, which is led by presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.