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Duterte renews vow vs drugs, corruption

As he welcomed 2017 with hope for positive and meaningful change for the nation, President Duterte has renewed his “sacred vow” to free Filipinos from the slavery of drugs, corruption, and criminality.

At the traditional New Year reception for the diplomatic community in Malacañang yesterday, the President said he was willing to do what he must to combat these “three evils” and pursue reforms to make the Philippines a “stronger Republic.”

“When I assumed the presidency six months ago, I certainly pledged to lead my country and my people. I vowed to address three basic evils that subjected my people, especially the poorest and the disenfranchised to the most unbearable burdens of slavery or millions of them to drugs, corruption, criminality, and a revolution in the South,” the President said in his remarks.

“I say to you all now that sacred vow remains unchanged. I stay true to the mandate reposed on me,” he said.

Duterte said the administration will stay firm in holding corrupt public servants accountable for their deeds.

He also promised to “make criminals responsible for their actions” as well as “work very, very hard to finally break the apparatus of the illegal drugs trade.”

“In so doing, we affirm and renew our commitment to bring about the change that my country and people deserve.

Certainly, realizing the change we need comes with the challenges but we are willing and able to do what we must, consistent with our constitutional mandate,” he said.

The government has also started to carry out genuine reforms to encourage more trade and investments, to intensify commercial activities, to ramp up investment and much-needed infrastructure, to increase revenues to make communities more resilient, and to improve basic social services, according to the President.

The pursuit of peace with Muslim rebels and communist group is also part of the President’s priority this year. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)