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‘Too early to judge Duterte performance’

The first 100 days of President Duterte is too early for a judgment of his performance because the Constitution gave him six years to make a dent on the problems, dreams, and ambitions of the country, former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said yesterday.

“We should not be governed by this populist concept of 100 days to show a performance. He has been performing already. He has created a name in the world that no President has ever done, not even (the late President Ferdinand) Marcos. He has come to power like a meteor,’’ Enrile, the former Defense Minister of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, said during a news forum sponsored by Samahang Plaridel at the historic landmark Manila Hotel.

Because Duterte has made a passionate and “deadly” anti-illegal drug campaign where some 3,000 persons have been killed either by the police or alleged vigilante groups earning international attention, Enrile said the Philippine drug problem “is nothing compared to the drug problem of America.”

“The American drug problem in terms of economy is $60 billion and they (drug syndicates) have their own private armies. That is why America cannot move as fast as we are doing it in the Philippines. They have the Sinaloas (among other drug syndicates in Central and South America) apart from the criminal syndicates that they have in the US. They have much more serious and bigger problems of drugs intrusion on that side of the planet that we have in the Philippines,’’ he said.

Enrile sees Duterte as playing his role as a President who has to govern and chooses his policies. “You may not agree with his methodology but he is the only President that we have,’’ he said.

“Let us not become too impatient. The last time we had a President who never made any ripple when he entered the pond. He put his foot into the pond and nobody noticed him and he passed unnoticed,’’ Enrile added, referring to former President Aquino.

“Now we have a President who has created too much wake and we are agog. We have become impatient again?’’ he asked.

Asked whether the official acts of the President the past three months have benefited Filipinos, Enrile said what the President is doing to maintain order as “drug addiction is a lawless violence.’’

On whether President is using strong hands against illegal drugs, Enrile said that “whether he will be able to finish them according to his timetable is the question…depends on the real magnitude of the problem that he has engaged himself into.’’

“Let him do his job. Government is to govern, to control human condition. Let him do his job. In the end we will chastise him or idolize him,’’ he added. (Mario B. Casayuran)