Palace to critics: Accept that most Filipinos see fewer addicts now
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañan Palace urges the critics of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs campaign to “stop playing blind dumb” and take not that more Filipinos believe that there are fewer drug users now.
In a statement issued on Saturday, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo cited a recent survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations that showed 66 percent of Filipinos said that there were fewer drug addicts in their areas compared to last year.
“The political opposition and the detractors of the President have been most vocal in using the drug war to vilify the Chief Executive and his Administration even bringing the issue to the International Criminal Court,” Panelo said in a statement. “They remain skeptical, unimpressed and indifferent of the significant strides made by our authorities in relation to prohibited narcotics even pointing out there remains demand and supply on illegal drugs. We ask them to stop playing blind dumb and instead listen to the people.”
Panelo said the Palace welcomed the survey results, tagging it a “validation” of the success of the war on drugs.
Still, he added, the government would not let up on its fight against drugs.
“Even as our people acknowledge the Administration’s efforts to bring down the number of drug personalities, our focus and drive remain unwavering in destroying the drug apparatus and putting behind bars the drug pushers, with strict observance to operational protocols, until the last day of the President’s term of office in 2022,” Panelo said.
The war on drugs campaign was launched in July 2016 after President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office. It aims to lower down the number of illegal drug users and pushers nationwide.
Since then, it has been getting flack from human rights defenders here and abroad.
According to the data of the authorities as of October 2018, almost 5,000 were killed during the anti-drug operations. /atm
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