by Argyll Geducos
Malacañang said that President Duterte’s war against illegal drugs has been successful this year, despite the surprising shift in the authorities handling the campaign.
This year, Duterte stripped the Philippine National Police (PNP) off its authority over the drug war and transferred it to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) due to alleged abuse of authority and excessive use of power.
Duterte, early this month, brought back the PNP to the drug war for fear that the drug situation in the country might worsen.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the drop in the crime rate proves that Duterte’s drug war has been successful this year.
“Well, ang alam mo ang figure (the figure) that is not disputed is that crime rates went down by 35 percent. To me, that’s a major accomplishment,” Roque said in a statement.
“It’s been hugely successful. I think the communities are safer and our young people are better protected against drugs,” he added.
Roque also addressed Duterte’s manner of handling the drug campaign, especially on letting the PNP wage the drug war despite criticisms and the police organization being linked to extrajudicial killings.
“What can I say other than the President really wants the most efficient means of conducting a war against drugs,” Roque said.
Meanwhile, Roque expressed that the public can expect that the drug war will be handled in a better way since the government has now learned from its ups and downs this 2017.
According to the PNP, crime volume across the country has been reduced to seven percent for the first eight months of the year compared to the same period last year.
From a total of 393,150 incidents from January to August last year, police have recorded a crime volume of 364,915 in the first eight months this year, or a reduction of 7.18 percent according to the PNP.
Earlier, President Duterte said that he is willing to find ways that will make the drug war more acceptable to everybody.
“I will walk the extra mile for one day to find it [acceptable way of addressing the drug war]. But until then, I will not allow my country to go to the dogs,” Duterte said in a speech early December this year.