Panelo thinks drug syndicates ‘getting better’
MANILA, Philippines — The illegal drugs situation in the Philippines may have worsened because drug syndicates are probably “getting better,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Wednesday.
Panelo’s remark came days after President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that the country’s dilemma on illegal drugs worsened and even warned that the Philippines might end up like Mexico controlled by drug cartels.
This while the Duterte administration flaunted that it has been succeeding in its brutal campaign against illegal drugs, citing increasing number of arrests and rehabilitation of drug suspects, and declaration of so-called “drug-free” villages nationwide.
In an interview at ANC’s Early Edition, Panelo was asked about his view on why the drug problem has worsened in the Philippines.
His reply was,“Pwede ring gumagaling ‘yung kalaban na nakakapasok dito.”
Asked then why drug syndicates seem not afraid of the government’s bloody drug war, Panelo said: “Money. Easy money. Bilyon-bilyon ang involved dito. They risk lives because of that. Malaking pera eh.”
Duterte’s main presidential campaign promise was to end the illegal drugs problem in the country in 3-6 months. But in September 2016, or about three months into his term, Duterte asked for extension of another 6 months until he admitted he was wrong with his self-imposed 3-6 months deadline.
“Things have worsened. My policemen are at the brink of surrendering,” Duterte said in a speech on March 24 during the campaign rally of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-laban) in Cagayan de Oro. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.