DILG: Important for next administration to continue drug war

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2022 12:24 PM | Updated as of May 17 2022 12:57 PM

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MANILA — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday said the next administration should continue President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war, which has also been the agency's priority.

Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said the supposedly lower crime rate brought investors to the country. He did not cite any data.

"Napaka-importanteng bagay ito... Dahil mababa ang crime rate, maraming pumasok na namumuhunan sa Pilipinas dahil maganda ang peace and order. Sana maipagpatuloy ito," said Densing in a public briefing. 

(This is a very important thing. Because the crime rate is down, many investors came to the Philippines because our peace and order situation is good. I am hoping this continues.)

The official said it is up to the next administration how it would carry out its anti-narcotics campaign, but suggested its initial phase could be implemented in Metro Manila.

"Ibe-briefing namin si (we will brief the) incoming secretary Benhur Abalos. Then we will leave it up to them if they will continue the project or revive it in the next administration. But it is something to look at dahil napakagandang peace and order program ito (because it is a good peace and order program) at security for our people," Densing said. 

Presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. and running-mate Sara Duterte-Carpio said they would "add heart" to Duterte's drug war, noting the importance of rehabilitation and livelihood opportunities for recovering drug users. 

But Duterte last week told his successor that the drug fight "has to be a war."

Some 6,200 people have been killed in Duterte's drug war as of March 31, according to official data. Police say the suspects fought back, while rights groups, which provide a higher estimate, say authorities summarily executed them.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) last year authorized an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity on the administration's flagship program, but it has been suspended to assess the scope of the country's deferral request.