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President Rodrigo Duterte had been creating headlines not only in the local but as well as in the international community. From his strong personality to his colorful language, Duterte already attracted media attention, both positive and negative. One of which Duterte became popular in the international media is when he fearlessly lambasted the United States, the United Nations, and the European Unions as he called them “hypocrites” for expressing concerns about the way he handles drugs in the country. Most of Duterte’s controversial statements are being the highlight of the daily news people receive everyday.
However, if controversies are going to be put aside, many political analysts have to agree that President Duterte, dubbed as “The Punisher” by the TIME magazine, already achieved so much during his first 100 days in the presidential seat. These achievements are evident in his war against drugs which is the main focus of his administration.
After he assumed the presidency, the Filipino people already felt the presence of his administration which he assured as a “bloody presidency” when he was still campaigning for the 2016 National Elections. Sources said that The Punisher actually gives “shoot to kill” orders against drug users or pushers who resist arrest. It can also be recalled that he offered million-peso rewards for those who would be able to capture dead or alive drug lords and major drug dealers.
Nevertheless, this style of killing has sparked condemnation from human rights advocates. Some of them claimed that killings have been rampant as rumors are spreading that drug lords are assassinating their own drug personnel to cover themselves and their acts.
Given such cases, some of the self-confessed drug users and peddlers already surrendered as they fear for their lives. According to reports, 700,000 self-confessed drug users submitted themselves to the authorities within Duterte’s first 100 days in the presidency. In connection to this, a “mega” rehabilitation center is set to be open in Manila which could cater 10,000 patients.
Moreover, drug laboratories and factories were closed and politicians connected with drugs were already named. It can be claimed that the anti-drug operations of the administration have been intensified basing on its results. Moreover, Police Chief Ronald Dela Rosa claimed that most of the crimes happening in the country are drug-related. Since the administration has been focusing on the elimination of drugs in the country, The Punisher was also able to reduce the crime rate to 49%.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa gave credits to the government’s war against drugs.
“This goes to show that most of these crimes that are happening in our communities are drug-related. That’s why when we focused our resources and attention on the drug problem, crimes also dropped.”
Not only in drug-related problems did President Duterte show his achievements. Duterte’s administration was also able to establish the first nationwide 911 emergency hotline that would cater to the needs of the Filipino people. In addition, the President was also able to provide The President’s Hotline which is 8888 for citizens who have concerns about government employees and agencies.
The President was also able to give attention to business processes to lessen the corruption in the bureaucracy. Furthermore, Duterte was also able to reach out to the age-old rebellion from communists and Muslim rebel groups. Efforts are being made to construct peace talks between the government and these rebels.
Meanwhile, Duterte’s long list of plans for the country also includes a nationwide implementation of “No Smoking” policy and the construction of the country’s first bullet train which will connect Subic and Clark. Sources said that the transportation plan is in partnership with a Chinese firm and will be discussed when the President visits China.