Malacañang literally rebuffed on Thursday the Dangerous Drug Board (DDB) by saying that President Rodrigo Duterte would still be able to fulfill his promise of a drug-free Philippines before he steps down in 2022.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Chairman Catalino Cuy said achieving a drug-free Philippines by 2022 is no longer a realistic goal.
Roque said Duterte’s promise is still attainable with the cooperation of local government units (LGUs), noting that 20,538 out of 42,045 barangays in the country are already drug-free.
“We remain confident if the local government would really cooperate that the remaining 14,303 villages will still become drug free after the term of our President,” Roque said in Filipino.
Duterte’s campaign promise was to end the drug menace in six months, a timeline that he later on extended until the end of his term.
Last week, Duterte urged law enforcement forces to stay vigilant as the war on drugs continues despite the coronavirus disease pandemic.
Duterte made this call as he led the destruction of P7.51-billion worth of illegal drugs in Trece Martires City, Cavite.
He emphasized the need to reform the criminal justice system and address the root cause of drug abuse and dependency.
On Wednesday, DDB chairman Cuy said Duterte administration’s vision of achieving a drug-free Philippines by 2022 is no longer realistic goal.
“The optimistic target during the campaign period was to, hopefully, have drug-free communities by 2022. But realistically, I think we wont’ be able to attain that),” Cuy said in Filipino during a Kapihan sa Manila Bay media forum on Wednesday. SOVEREIGNPH