MANILA –A vacationing Filipino-American “balikbayan” is impressed of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s all-out war on illegal drugs to save the Filipinos, especially the young from drug addiction.
Claudio Pedery Jr., a Vietnam war veteran and retired logistics officer of Lockheed Martin, one of the world’s biggest American companies specializing in defense, security and advanced technology based in Washington, DC, gave his impression and perspective during an interview with this writer on Thursday.
Pedery resides in the State of Maryland and at one time, ran for congressman at its 4th Minority District years ago but placed only third.
He said President Duterte’s election last May “truly received the people’s mandate to rid the Philippines of its never ending criminality, corruption and drugs problems.”
He added the election of President-elect Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States “has definitely created a new US-Philippines political environment on a new era based on equitable setting.”
Pedery, who closely follows what is happening in the Philippines, said that President Duterte fulfilled his campaign promise to wage an honest-to-goodness fight to eradicate illegal drugs and corruption.
Pedery said that when he visited Barotac Nuevo in Iloilo last December he saw an acronym on a billboard which reads: “D E A D: DRUGS ENDS ALL DREAMS.”
“How true. When I was writing this, to describe President Duterte’s passion, I created a more positive and progressive thought –“Drug-free Philippines: Saves All Dreams,” he said.
Pedery added that in any type of warfare, “there are innocent civilians getting killed. Even the United State with its most advance Global Positioning System, there are innocent civilians caught in the crossfire,” apparently referring to US airstrikes against terrorist hideouts in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
“Of course, because of these unpleasant collateral damages, there seem to be an appearance of human rights violation which the western media quickly write.”
The intensified drug war launched by the police all over the country the past six months has claimed the lives of over 3,000, and the surrender of over 700,000 drug users.Also the PNP seized a total of over PHP 3.7 billion worth of illegal drugs during the first six months of the campaign.
This is the result of the unremitting dedication and support of the PNP to the flagship program of President Duterte’s war on illegal drugs called “Oplan Double Barrel.”
According to statistics from the PNP National Anti-Illegal Drug Monitoring Center (NAIDMC) from July 1, 2016 to January 12, 2017, all 18 Police Regional Offices recovered more or less 95,000 sachets of shabu where 8,581 sachets came from the National Capital Region Police Office.
On the other hand, Police Regional Office 3 recovered the most marijuana sachets (111,350 sachets) out of more or less 113,000 sachets of marijuana recovered nationwide.
Said figures exclude the illegal drugs seized by the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) which have separate reports through their relentless operations.
The PNP is on its continuous campaign against illegal drugs with more focus on the arrest and account of High Value Target Personalities and progressing towards the Barangay Drug Clearing Strategy of the government.