Just this Tuesday at the 69th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force in Clark Freeport, President Rodrigo Duterte named five police generals allegedly involved in illegal drug operations. They have since been relieved of their positions.
President Rody even said that he had been hearing the names of those generals and their alleged involvement in illegal drugs even when he was still mayor of Davao City, which only means that the previous administration had these supposed scoundrels under their noses all this time—whether knowingly or unwittingly, we may never know, but there is blame to be placed either way.
The President was in fighting form, as always, and was particularly feisty in front of PAF officers. What he said after winning the presidential race was right: this is going to be a dirty fight, and this is going to be a bloody fight. An astute student of the law, he said he would not apologize for his fight against illegal drugs, and that he is taking full legal responsibility for it.
It’s a refreshing thing to hear a president who knows what he is doing, one that has a sense of righteous but responsible indignation. It is refreshing because the stark difference was made apparent immediately after he assumed office.
On the same day, 35 members of the Quezon City Police District were relieved from their respective duties. They have been assigned to regions in Mindanao. Five of them were from the Anti-Illegal Drugs Division, while the others were from the Special Operations Unit.
We have seen in the past few days President Rody’s promise to eradicate illegal drugs in the country slowly coming to fruition. We have heard of foreign crime lords turning tail right after the presidential election results came out, and we have read about seizures, arrests, and defeats of drug suspects from Metro Manila and beyond. Of course these small fry have led critics to cast doubt on the new administration’s sincerity and ability to fulfill its promises, but now that officials are clearly on their way to reel in the big fish, the critics can take their yellowing feet and shove it down their own mouths.
Let us remember that the drug menace would not have become the pandemic it is today where it not for the coddling of the past administration’s narco-politicians and narco-generals. We await with bated breath for lady justice to catch these big fishes.
For generals down to the PO1s living beyond their means, sporting SUVs and residing in multi-million-peso houses and condos, without a care in the world because of the impunity afforded by Daang Matuwid, their time has thankfully come to an end.
After the first few days of the new administration, pessimists of the yellow kind have been critical of the status quo in various issues, particularly on the crusade against illegal drugs. My answer to them is this: If President Rody is able to solve the problem of drug syndicates, then this will be a lasting legacy for future generations, to remember him with honor and respect.