MANILA

Palace to critics: Stop playing ‘blind dumb’ about drug war

“STOP playing blind dumb,” Malacañang on Saturday, February 16, told critics of President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal crackdown on illegal drugs, following public’s belief that there are just fewer drug offenders in the country.

The remark was made after results of Social Weather Station’s (SWS) December poll showed that Filipinos believed that number of drug addicts in their area has “decreased” in 2018.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the SWS’s survey results was a “validation of the success of the Duterte Administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.”

“As we all know, it is a major campaign platform of President Duterte and remains a centerpiece program of his Administration, notwithstanding the harshest criticisms, brickbats and pressures the current government is receiving here and abroad,” he said in a statement.

“The political opposition and the detractors of the President have been most vocal in using the drug war to vilify the Chief Executive and his Administration even bringing the issue to the International Criminal Court,” the Palace official added.

Duterte’s administration has been criticized by human rights groups and the opposition, following the deaths of more than 5,000 people suspected to be involved in narcotics trade.

The President lamented that critics remain “skeptical, unimpressed and indifferent of the significant strides,” made by law enforcement agencies to curb the proliferation of illegal drugs.

Citing SWS poll, Panelo said Duterte’s detractors should listen to 83 percent of people of Mindanao, 71 percent in Visayas, 67 percent in Metro Manila, and 54 percent in Luzon that there are less drug addicts in the country.

“We ask them to stop playing blind dumb and instead listen to the people,” Panelo said.

“Even as our people acknowledge the Administration's efforts to bring down the number of drug personalities, our focus and drive remain unwavering in destroying the drug apparatus and putting behind bars the drug pushers, with strict observance to operational protocols, until the last day of the President’s term of office in 2022,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)


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