MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's allies want to give him more than just an additional six months in his war against illegal drugs in the country.
This, after Duterte asked for six more months to deliver on his campaign promise, admitting that the magnitude of the problem is bigger than he thought.
House Committee on Dangerous Drugs Chairman Ace Barbers argued that the war on drugs should not be time-bound.
"In fact, dapat magkaroon tayo ng isang national policy na perpetual, na ibig sabihin, kung 'di na si Presidente Duterte ang nakaupo sa Malacañang, itong kampanyang ito ay tuloy-tuloy na kampanya," Barbers said.
(For me, the drug war should not be time-bound. There should be a perpetual national policy that would go on even if President Duterte is no longer in power.)
"Six months, wala kong problema doon. Personally, in fact, kung pwede siya bigyan ng extension ng six years, mas maganda kasi di madali ang laban na ito. Hindi ganoon kadali matapos ito. But of course, we will give him a very big credit 'pag natapos ito within 6 months o dun sa time prinescribe niya," he added.
(I don't have a problem giving him a six-month extension. In fact, I don't mind at all giving him an extension of six years. The war on drugs is not an easy task. But of course, we will give him a very big credit if he'll be able to accomplish this within six months or the time he prescribed.)
Deputy Speaker Ferdinand Hernandez said Duterte's mandate goes beyond six months.
"Mandate ni presidente, six years. He made a promise during campaign and when you're there, you will only realize the magnitude of the problem and we will have to give it to the president na as far as we are concerned this will not stop in six months," he said.
(The president's mandate does not end in six months. The mandate of the president is for six years. He made a promise during campaign and when you're there, you will only realize the magnitude of the problem and we will have to give it to the president that as far as we are concerned this will not stop in six months.)
"'Yung relentless drive niya, pinaka- importante six months extension. That's even nothing. What's important, tuloy-tuloy. Relentless ‘yung kampanya sa droga," Hernandez added.
(The relentless drive against drugs, that's what's important. The six-month extension is nothing. What is important is that the campaign against drugs is relentless.)
Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker Frederick Abueg claimed that people feel better now amid Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs.
Barbers echoed Abueg's sentiment. "'Yang ating mga kababayan, takot lumabas 'pag gabi kasi nga baka makasalubong nila diyan drug addict, mang-rape o manghold-up o pumatay. Ngayon, baliktad na. With this campaign, drug lord takot lumabas. Nakita natin gauge ng campaign. I hope this continues hanggang mawala na problema sa droga."
(People before were afraid to go out at night as they might encounter drug addicts who might rape, rob or kill them. Now, it's the other way around. I hope this continues until the problem on drugs ceases to exist.)