CLARK AIR BASE, Pampanga -- "We have to remove the fear of our children to criminals. Let us transfer that fear to the criminals."
Thus said President Rodrigo Duterte during the celebration Tuesday, July 5, of the Philippine Air Force’s 69th anniversary here, where he shared his vision to remove fear from the public and to transfer that fear in the hearts of the criminals.
"In this way, I hope that criminality will lessen, if not totally be eradicated, under my term. Huwag ninyong lokohin ang bayan sa panahon ko, kasi hindi ako papayag," he stressed.
The President said the drug problem is a national security threat and that the campaign against illegal drugs will continue and all levels in government will be cleansed and weeded out of officials involved in drugs, crime and corruption, which started with the relief of police generals who were allegedly involved in the illegal drugs trade.
He emphasized that the campaign on drugs will continue as he warned everyone not to be involved in any drug-related activity because it is tantamount to “placing one's self at the line of fire.”
“The fight against drugs is going to be a bloody fight,” he said.
Duterte added that drugs, corruption, and human trafficking are the pressing issues in the country today, adding that he is keen on the return of the death penalty for heinous crimes such as illegal drugs and rape.
He said that on the drug scene, he is compelled with a sense of duty to tell everyone, especially those who are involved in drugs, that it is one way of contributing to the deterioration of the law and order of the country.
“In any language, it is considered treason,” the President said.
Duterte also told fixers in government transactions to stop their wrongdoings.
While promising the Philippine Air Force (PAF) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that they will have all the things they need, including more helicopters and night vision gears under his administration, the President also called on the AFP and PAF to help in the campaign against illegal drugs.
On the issue of the West Philippine Sea, Duterte said: “We remain optimistic that it will be settled in our favor. But if not, we will accept the verdict as a country which honors international commitments.”
He said that the Philippines will not resort to war as it is “a dirty word” and that “we cannot afford it.”
“We remain optimistic that the judgment of the UNCLOS will be in our favor,” the President said. (JTD/Sun.Star Pampanga)