'People now feel safer'
MANILA – Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said on Monday that Filipinos should be grateful for the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs and criminality, saying the Philippine is slowly becoming like Singapore in terms of safety.
Cayetano came anew to the defense of President Rodrigo Duterte, amid concerns over the government’s bloody war on drugs that has claimed at least 1,600 lives based on monitoring by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.
The staunch Duterte supporter said, because of Duterte’s efforts, the Philippines is now a safer place for Filipinos.
“It’s not perfect. In fact the president very candidly said he needs another six months pero let us be honest to ourselves, it is happening. The Philippines is becoming more like Singapore in terms of being able to walk the streets at anytime at night,” Cayetano said in a privilege speech.
“What do we want? Bumalik tayo six years past o ipagpatuloy natin ang pagbabago? Do we go back or do we go forward? More of the same or change? Gusto ba natin na takot ang tao at ang criminal hindi takot?”
(What do we want, go back six years past or continue the change? Do we go back or do we go forward? More of the same or change? Do we want an environment where the people are afraid and the criminals are not?)
Cayetano said much more needs to be done under Duterte’s campaign on drugs, but he claimed many gains have been achieved with just two months into the new administration.
“Dalawang buwan pa lang mahigit, may pakiramdam na ng kaligtasan. (In just two months, there is already a sense of safety.) I’m not saying that people now feel safe, I’m saying they feel safer,” he said.
Duterte earlier admitted that he did not realize the magnitude of the country's drug problem when he declared his self-imposed deadline of three to six months during the campaign.
"Maybe just give me an extension of another six months. I did not have that idea that there were thousands of people in the drug business and worst is they are operated now by people in government," Duterte said.
"The problem is I cannot kill them all," he noted. "Even if I wanted to, I cannot do it."