By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte has made up his mind in bringing back the Philippine National Police (PNP) to lead his drug war but said he is yet to sign the Executive Order (EO) ordering so.
Duterte made the statement during the 67th founding anniversary of the First Scout Ranger Regiment in San Miguel, Bulacan this afternoon.
“I have not yet signed the executive order. But I am inclined to call back the police and join again in the drug war,” Duterte said.
According to Duterte, drug is really destroying the country and that he is hell-bent on putting an end to trade, or else he would just resign if he cannot do it.
“I cannot accept it. And if I cannot control drugs, then maybe it is time for me to think about resignation,” he said.
“‘Pag hindi ko kaya ito, bababa talaga ako, sabihin ko sa inyo (I will really step down if I can’t accomplish this),” he added.
“Why should I be there? Only for the noise? I do not need it. I have enough accolades in my life. Kaya kung hindi ko ito kaya, aalis ako (That’s why if I cannot do it, I will leave my office),” he continued.
Ridding the country of illegal drugs was one of the three main campaign promises of Duterte, which he said he will accomplish in a maximum of just six months. Duterte, however, said he miscalculated his estimate.
Last month, Duterte stripped the PNP off their responsibility to wage the drug war to allegedly satisfy his critics and due to the police’s alleged involvement in the killings.
However this week, Duterte announced that he might bring back the PNP in his drug war in fear that the drug condition in the country could worsen.
Malacañang earlier said there is now a very strong likelihood of PNP’s return to drug war since it was already announced by the President.
“Well, I think a decision will soon be made. So I guess that’s the latest — that is the latest pronouncement of the President,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque had said.
When asked if PDEA’s barely two-month lead in the drug war is enough for an evaluation, Roque said the decision still lies with the President despite the accomplishments of the agency.
“The President’s call. If he thinks it must be returned, then it must be that the PDEA has been given enough time,” he said. “He must not be satisfied. He wants more.”
Roque also said the President trusts the PNP despite Duterte’s earlier statement that he is thinking of reforming the agency, completely, to remove the bad apples from the barrel.
The PDEA has welcomed Duterte’s decision to bring back the PNP in the drug war but hoped that the PNP would change their guidelines first.
The PNP, on the other hand, expressed that they are ready to take over the drug campaign.