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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Rody welcome to join Cabinet as drug czar

President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday said President Rodrigo Duterte asked him to continue the government’s anti-drug campaign “his own way.”

Marcos, in a Facebook Live interview with select media on Thursday, said it would not be a problem if Duterte wants to join his administration as the anti-drugs czar.

Asked if this was a standing offer, the President-elect clarified that he and the outgoing Chief Executive have yet to discuss the matter.

“No, we have not talked about it. But I am open to anyone who is able to help in the government,” Marcos said, noting that the two of them have been friends for a long time.

The President-elect said he and Duterte have met more than once, with at least one of those meetings happening before the May 9 elections.

“There were several actually, it’s not just a single [meeting],” Marcos said.

“Even before the election, he’s been saying that these things, continue them, please, that is the request. He said that is so important to him. And still of course his priority has always been the anti-drug problem,” Marcos said.

“One thing that he was very assertive about was ‘continue the anti-drug syndicate that I started. Do it your own way.’ He really said that,” Marcos said.

“Do it your own way. Change it, do what you want but don’t abandon it because our youth are miserable, their lives are really ruined,” Marcos said, quoting President Duterte.

He said he appreciated what the President told him, noting that drugs continue to be a problem.

Duterte won the 2016 presidential race due to his hardline stance against illegal drugs and criminality.

During his term, Duterte came under fire from human rights groups over allegations of summary executions in the drug war.

Meanwhile, government agents assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport seized a smuggled shabu shipment worth P7.4 million in a controlled delivery operation in Bulacan.

The operation conducted by a composite team from the Customs NAIA, Interdiction Task Group and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) also resulted in the arrest of a claimant.

The importer misdeclared the shipment as water purifier from Laos but upon physical examination, the parcel was discovered to contain 1,092 grams of white crystalline substance.

Further laboratory examination revealed that the substance was methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu with a street value of P7,425,600.00.

Meanwhile, the PDEA said it has destroyed P108,674,818.44 worth of illegal drugs at the Geocycle facility of the Holcim Philippines Inc. in Bacnotan, La Union.

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