PRRD asks for 1 more yr to end nar­cotics trade

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MANILA - Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte on Wed­nes­day, De­cem­ber 6, asked for an­other year to put an end to the ram­pant nar­cotics trade in the coun­try.

Dur­ing the mass oath-tak­ing of new pres­i­den­tial ap­pointees from the pri­vate and public sec­tors, the Pres­i­dent main­tained that his ad­min­is­tra­tion would con­tinue to wage a re­lent­less war on il­le­gal drugs, de­spite wide­spread crit­i­cisms over the al­leged ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings of sus­pected drug traf­fick­ers.

“On the is­sue of drugs, it will not stop. It’s a non-is­sue to me and I will not an­swer it any­more, ex­cept to say that my oath of of­fice de­mands that I pro­tect the Filipino peo­ple and that the Repub­lic of the Philip­pines is safe. That is the long and short of it,” Duterte said in his speech.

“I don’t care about the story of ex­tra­ju­di­cial killing. It will hap­pen. It can­not hap­pen. I don’t care. On drugs, I hope to fin­ish the prob­lem, maybe just an­other year,” he added.

Duterte’s state­ment came a day af­ter he signed Me­moran­dum Order 17 that di­rects the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) to pro­vide “ac­tive sup­port” to the Philip­pine Drug En­force­ment Agency (PDEA), which re­mains the lead agency tasked to ad­dress the drug me­nace.

Me­moran­dum Order 17 over­rules the Oc­to­ber 10 me­moran­dum inked by Duterte, which in­structed the PNP to merely main­tain po­lice vis­i­bil­ity while the 2,000-strong PDEA con­ducts its na­tion­wide op­er­a­tions against il­licit nar­cotics trade.

In his ex­pla­na­tion in Me­moran­dum Order 17, the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive ex­plained that he or­dered the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the PNP anew, fol­low­ing the “no­table resur­gence in il­le­gal drug ac­tiv­i­ties and crimes com­mit­ted” since he solely des­ig­nated the PDEA to han­dle the drug prob­lem.

Duterte’s cam­paign prom­ise was to end the ram­pant trade of il­le­gal drugs in three to six months in of­fice. But when he failed to meet his self-im­posed dead­line, he sought a six-month ex­ten­sion to fin­ish the drug prob­lem.

Speak­ing be­fore the newlyap­pointed of­fi­cials from the gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor, the Pres­i­dent said the po­lice force needs to once again par­tic­i­pate in the drug war, in a bid to curb the nar­cotics sale in the coun­try. SunStar Philip­pines

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