President Rodrigo Duterte is on the right track, according to former Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales. This is despite the strong opposition of the Catholic Church, Senator Leila de Lima, and some human rights groups on the intensified campaign of the PNP (Philippine National Police) against illegal drugs under the new administration.
“The new leadership, you know you cannot owned goodness, ito na siguro kung minsan iniisip natin na tayo lamang ang magaling. No way hindi tama yan, sa ngayon mayroong bagong namumuno kita naman natin he is in a right track.” Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales said an interview with Church-run radio station, Radyo Veritas this Saturday, August 6.
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“The leadership really is in a right track, kaya kung minsan napupuna natin yung paraan and you know na decisiveness of the new government is something you have never seen in many decades. Yung paraan lamang, so for me I pray for everyone especially the highest leadership.” He added, noting that we should also pray for President Duterte.
Cardinal Rosales’ positive statements for President Duterte comes a day before he read the list of names of the so-called narco-politicians which include incumbent and former mayors, vice-mayors, congressmen and judges who are allegedly involved in illegal drugs. Latest data shows that there are already 524 drug-related killings since Duterte took oath.
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On daily average, there are 11 drug pushers killed from July 1 to 27. A total of 141,659 self-confessed drug suspects have surrendered on the same period, while.4,386 drug suspects had been arrested during Oplan “Tokhang” operations. Nevertheless, human rights groups are also alarmed with the increasing number of extrajudicial killings.
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In his speeches, President Duterte has been consistent that he takes full responsibility of the killings by PNP officials, as long as they follow due process. Meanwhile, PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa categorically denied a recent report that gunmen are being hired to kill drug suspects at a price of $200 (around P9,400) per head.