Quezon governor sacks 59 over drugs

LUCENA CITY—Quezon Governor David “Jay-jay” Suarez has ordered the dismissal of 59 employees who had tested positive for illegal drug use as part of the provincial government’s part in the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“There are those which oppose our potential to be great—criminality and illegal drugs,” said Suarez at a ceremony recognizing the province’s outstanding citizens as part of the Niyogyugan Festival. 

“We have long been fighting this in our province and two years ago, we started conducting random drug testing which led to 59 employees losing their jobs,” Suarez said.

“And now, under President [Rodrigo] Duterte, we have witnessed for our selves how aggressive our government in its campaign to put a stop to the scourge of illegal drugs,” said the governor.

“Your governor is behind the President in his goal to make the whole country drug-free and this starts in our provincial capitol grounds,” the governor averred.

Suarez said the recent report of the Philippine National Police revealed crime rates in Quezon province had decreased by 58 percent.

“Congratulations for our accomplishment. In one side we can be great if we have been given the opportunity to be great. Let us not put to waste the sacrifices of our countrymen to put us where we are now especially the one whom we look up to as the father of our province—Manuel Luis Quezon,” said Suarez.

The governor’s father, House Minority Leader, Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, who was also present during the event, clarified reports attributed to the House minority giving Duterte a failing grade.

“While watching the news yesterday, I came across a ticker tape running at the bottom of my TV screen which read: ‘2 minority solons give Duterte a failing grade,’” said the elder Suarez.

Being the minority leader, Suarez bared he asked around, inquiring who among the members of minority group could have made that pronouncement.

“And from what I have gathered, Congressmen Baguilat and Villarin guested in a forum wherein they criticized President Duterte, even describing his latest actuations as unpresidential,” said the Minority Leader.

“For the record, I would like to clarify that Congressmen Baguilat’s and Villarin’s statements are not reflective of the position of the duly recognized minority group in the House of Representatives as they belong to the independent group,” he stressed.

On the contrary, Suarez said the minority bloc, is giving Duterte a positive rating for all the accomplishments he had done in his first 50 days in office, “especially for his exemplary performance in the conduct of the anti-illegal drug campaign, his quest for peace, environmental campaign.”

He, however, clarified despite his group’s positive assessment of the Duterte administration for now, the minority would be strict in monitoring the government’s action, maintaining its role as fiscalizer.

“Despite his achievements in so short a time, we at the minority would remain watchful of his government, criticize him whenever we believe he has erred along the way, but laud and praise him for every positive things he will do,” said Suarez.

The Niyogyugan Festival is an annual event held in Quezon since 2012 which features Agri-Tourism Trade Fair as one of its main attraction.

Since it was launched, the Niyogyugan Festival has gained popularity not only with Quezonians but with other people from all walks of life. Students, businessmen, and tourists from different parts of the country have shown interest in visiting and becoming part of the festivity.

The Festival is a week-long celebration that includes the commemoration day of the birth of late President Manuel Luis Quezon, the different competitions such as dance and float, performances of artists, symposium and exhibits that revolve around the coconut and other events that focus on agriculture and tourism exposition. Interwoven in the festivities is the history and heritage of Quezon, culture and the arts and trade and business opportunities.

This year’s celebration will culminate in the Grand Parade and Float Competition on August 27.

Topics: illegal drugs , Niyogyugan Festival , drugs , anti-drug law
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