Koko rates Duterte’s first year with almost perfect score
Editor’s Note: Starting June 25, the Inquirer will run on its print, online, and social media platforms a series of stories, reports and commentaries on the socioeconomic impact – positive and negative – that President Duterte has made in his first year in office. The articles will focus on how the former Davao City mayor has coped with the challenges of the presidency in five major areas that Filipinos consider most important in their lives: peace and order, traffic, economy, governance and foreign policy. This evaluation of the administration’s achievements and shortcomings will take into account what Mr. Duterte had promised to do during last year’s presidential campaign, his June 30 inaugural speech and his July 25 State of the Nation Address.
If he were to rate President Rodrigo Duterte’s first year on office, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel II would give him an almost perfect score.
“(On a scale of 1 to 10), from 8.5 to nine,” Pimentel said in an ambush interview during the graduation of University of the Philippines (UP) law students last Monday.
Pimentel, a party mate of Duterte, pointed out that the Filipinos have felt the “change” the President has promised when he was still campaigning.
“Kasi alam mo naman ‘yung slogan ni President Duterte, ‘Change.’ Ang dami nating naramdaman na pagbabago,” he said.
(You know that President Duterte’s slogan is “Change.” We have felt many changes.)
The senator said that through Duterte’s governance, the Philippines has proven to the world that no other country can dictate or meddle with the internal affairs of the Philippines.
“Sa foreign relations na lang, kitang-kita na ngayon na (Just in our foreign affairs, it’s evident now) the world believes that we have an independent foreign policy. Hindi po tayo dinidiktahan ng kahit anong bansa (We can’t be dictated by just any country). We determine our own course in international affairs,” Pimentel said.
As for Duterte’s deadly war against drugs that had earned criticisms from various sectors and the international community, Pimentel said this, nevertheless, helped reduce crimes in the country.
“There is a reduction of crimes in the country. ’Yan po ang datos ng (That is from the data of) PNP (Philippine National Police),” he said.
Despite his support for the drug war, Pimentel said he is personally alarmed with the killings.
Since the massive anti-drug drive started in July, more than 7,000 persons, mostly suspected drug addicts, have died.
“I am personally alarmed with what I read and what I hear about killings,” he said.
What the Duterte administration needs to improve on? The PNP’s failure to solve the killings.
The senator then challenged the PNP, led by Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, to get to the bottom of thousands of murder and homicide cases that are still kept hanging.
He also urged the police to identify the perpetrators of the killings so cases could be filed against them.
“Kung bumaba man ang overall incidence ng crime, let us look at the murders, baka tumataas ito. I am urging the PNP, na ito na lang sana ‘yung improvement na pwede nilang gawin for the second year of the Duterte administration,” he said.
(If ever the overall incidence of crime goes down, let us look at the murders, it may rise. I am urging the PNP to act on this as an improvement for the second year of the Duterte administration.)
“Sana mabasa ko na (I hope I read) that the PNP is able to solve a lot of these crimes, and to read the identification of the perpetrators and the filing of cases against these people,” Pimentel said.
Asked if the President himself needed improvement, his ally senator said he has no complains about the President and his policies.
He also lauded Duterte for being hardworking and that despite his old age, he manages to visit from one province to another to check the situation of the people.
“Wala akong reklamo sa kanya. Napakasipag na Pangulo, given his age, ‘yung pag-visit niya all over the country. ‘Yung mga pagpapahinga, natural lang sa akin iyon, tanggap ko din po iyon,” he said.
(I have no complaints against him. The President is very hardworking, given his age, the way he pays visits all over the country. His rests, that’s only natural, I can accept that.) JE
Explore on our special anniversary site the Inquirer series of multiplatform reports and commentaries on the gains and challenges during President Duterte's first year in office. Daily content begins June 25 till July 24.
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