Marcos, Sara Duterte vow to win drug war with love

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 23 2021 06:56 PM

Presidential contender Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and vice presidential aspirant Sara Duterte attend the wedding of Jed Patricio and Gianna Revilla, daughter of Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla and Lani Mercado Revilla, at their farm in Cavite City on Nov. 11, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File
Presidential contender Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and vice presidential aspirant Sara Duterte attend the wedding of Jed Patricio and Gianna Revilla, daughter of Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla and Lani Mercado Revilla, at their farm in Cavite City on Nov. 11, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — Presidential contender Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and running-mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Tuesday said they would pursue and "add heart" to her father's crackdown on narcotics. 

Some 6,000 alleged drug dealers have been killed in President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war. Police say the suspects fought back, while rights group say authorities summarily executed them. 

"The war on drugs shall be pursued and won through 'love'," said Marcos and Duterte-Carpio in a joint statement.

“Naging matagumpay ang kampanya ng administrasyon ni Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte laban sa ipinagbabawal na gamot, ipagpapatuloy natin ito at sasangkapan natin ng puso ang pagpuksa sa salot ng lipunan na ito,” they added. 

(The campaign of the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte against illegal drugs is successful, we will continue it and add heart to eradicating this scourge in society.)

Marcos and Duterte-Carpio said they would build more rehabilitation centers, tap more health workers to take care of drug dependents, and give them livelihood such as making handicraft while in rehabilitation. 

The pair said government must also intensify port monitoring against the possible entry of narcotics and ensure that Filipinos have jobs that would not get them lured to the drug trade.

Marcos and Duterte-Carpio said they would continue cleansing the police of officers colluding with drug lords. 

"The proliferation of illegal drugs is a law enforcement, economic and health concern," the tandem said.

Analysts say it is crucial for Duterte to have a loyal successor in the 2022 elections to shield him from legal cases, including in connection with his drug war. 

The International Criminal Court in September approved an investigation into the war on drugs, which it then suspended last week at Manila's request.

Governments can ask the ICC to defer a case if they are implementing their own investigations. A few weeks after ICC judges approved its probe, the Philippines said it had reviewed 50 cases that indicated foul play.

Duterte has rejected an alliance between his party and his daughter's camp because of Marcos, who he called a "weak leader." 

Last week, Duterte also claimed a presidential bet uses cocaine, without naming the contender and citing evidence. On Monday, Duterte said the candidate has eluded arrest because the wealthy supposedly abuse narcotics in yachts or up in the air. 

Malacañang has denied Duterte's remark indicated the drug war only goes after the poor.

"Marami na po tayong nahuli na high-value targets na lumalabag sa Dangerous Drugs Act," said the President's acting spokesman Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

(We have arrested many high-value targets who violate the Dangerous Drugs Act.)

"Ang mensahe lang po ni Pangulo dito ay siyempre, kailangan din natin ng kooperasyon ng bawat isa, ng publiko lalo na," he said in a press briefing. (The only message of the President here is of course, we need the cooperation of everyone, especially the public.)

— With a report from Reuters 

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