President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed frustration that around 1.5 million families fell victim to common crimes in the first quarter of 2018 based on the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
“If this is the case, I’m worthless, I’ll ask you to join me, we better resign altogether,” Duterte said in his speech during the oath taking of Region 9 barangay captains in Molave, Zamboanga del Sur.
According to the March 23-27 SWS survey, at least 6.6 percent of Filipinos fell victim to robbery or pickpocket, break-ins, carnapping and physical violence.
The number, however, is lower compared to 1.7 million families (7.6 percent) recorded in its survey conducted last December.
“There seems to be a semblance of a republic and a nation but inside, it’s topsy-turvy. It’s crime-ridden,” he added.
Duterte challenged the village leaders to be proactive in addressing common crimes as well as illegal drugs, saying he cannot solve the country’s problems by himself.
“There is always illegal logging, there is always illegal drugs. The high rate of crime in your municipality. What are you doing?” he told the region’s 1,904 village leaders who won in the last May 14 elections.
“I do not mean to offend you. But the yoke of burden does not fall on me exclusively. I cannot run this country without you,” he added.
Duterte said he suggested to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año to make an audit of local government units (LGUs) that have high crime rates.
“I do not want for the life of me to be tinkering with your business as a local government unit for after all, we are elected by the people. But apparently, there seems to be a misunderstanding which has been going on for so long a time,” he said.
Duterte reiterated his warning against LGU officials who use their position as platform to propagate illegal drugs in their areas.
“You barangay captains, governors, you use the platform of public office for your drug operation and in the process killing government men even police, I will really kill you,” Duterte said.
“If you are a mayor and you go overboard, you kill police and military, you think you are (the) lord. I will not allow (a) mayor who is (a) gang lord,” he added.
Duterte said sometimes he tries to go beyond the boundaries just to wake up and to get everyone involved in transforming the country into a better and progressive nation.
“You have to help me. I don’t know if I’m ready to — if it’s an overcast, which means all,” he said.
Duterte said he will consider a request to arm barangay captains to fight criminals and to defend themselves.
“You work, I will give you firearms. But I want (to eradicate) terrorism and drugs and I will have an audit. And if you are not at par, I will file charges against you for incompetence. I don’t want to do it, but you have to defend the country,” he said. PNA