MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is asking for an extension to finish off his controversial war against illegal drugs in the country.
In a speech at the confirmation of new government appointees in Malacañang on Wednesday, the chief executive renewed his promise to end the illegal drug woes and asked for another year to fulfill it.
“Basta sabi ko sa droga [As I’ve said before about illegal drugs], I hope to finish the problem, maybe, just give me another year,” said Duterte.
During the last election’s campaign, Duterte vowed to eradicate illegal drugs ‘within three to six months’ upon assuming the presidency; a promise his critics now doubt if it will ever be fulfilled.
Duterte’s latest pronouncement came after signing a memorandum reinstating the Philippine National Police (PNP) as one of the agencies to participate in the government’s anti-illegal drugs operations.
On Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque revealed Duterte has officially allowed PNP to resume its role in the campaign against illegal drugs but clarified the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will remain as the lead agency.
“The first, and I quote, is directing the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies, to resume, providing active support to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations,” said Roque.
In the same speech in Malacañang, Duterte made no mention of the memorandum but said the cops will definitely be back in the streets to join PDEA and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).