President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Friday gave Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) six months to prove that they are capable of leading the operations battling the country’s illegal drug problem.
“Huwag – lahat walang makialam, PDEA lang. O sige tingnan natin, six months from now (Nobody should interfere. Only PDEA. Now, let us see six months from now),” the Chief Executive said during his visit in Cagayan de Oro.
“Pinatabi ko muna lahat (I asked everyone else to step aside). And whether it will get worse or better, I simply do not have the answer,” he added.
In the middle of his speech, the President once again reiterated that the country’s drug problem is the root of most heinous crimes like rape and murder. He said that when he took his oath of office, he vowed to protect the people, preserve the country, and the Republic. “I will go against all criminals without fear or favor and enforce it equally,” he said.
But then his proposed solution to the illegal drug trade seemed to blacken the image of the police.
“What was the – what precipitated it? ‘Di ba drugs? Kaya, ‘yan sabi… Ngayon, eh pinaghahampas nila itong pulis. O sabi ko, ‘Sige. Gusto ninyo? PDEA (Drugs right? Then they are blaming the police. Then I said ‘Okay, this is what you want? PDEA),” Duterte narrated.
However, the President had a message for his western critics.
“Ngayon, pagka lumabo na naman ito, sabihan ko itong mga unggoy na ‘to, ‘Bumalik kayo dito, solbahin ninyo ang problema namin. Kayo ‘yung madaldal, pagka hindi ninyo nasolba d’yan, tutuliin ko kayo uli (Now, if the situations gets worse, I’ll say to these monkeys, ‘Come back here, and solve our problem. Since you are all talkative, if you cannot solve it, I will circumcise all of you again),” he said.
On October 10, Duterte signed a memorandum tagging PDEA as the ‘sole agency’ to handle the campaign on drugs, directing other agencies to not be involved. However, he has reminded the Philippine National Police (PNP) to maintain its visibility for the operations.
This was followed by PNP Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa stopping all Oplan Tokhang and Oplan Double Barrel operations nationwide, two days later.
According to Duterte’s speech on October 12, the continuous criticism on his campaign is what prompted him to make the decision.
“Kasi ginawa ko na talaga lahat ng magagawa ko, ito na (You see, I already did everything I can. So, here). And some of the noted writers say, ‘Act now.’ Ito na po (It is here),” he said.
(Read: PNP bids goodbye to ‘Tokhang’)