President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gives a lecture on the national security threat of illegal drugs and lawless violence during the 31st Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on November 6, 2018. ROLANDO MAILO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MALACAÑANG — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, November 6, announced that he would issue a memorandum circular directing the entire government machinery to mobilize its assets to take an active role in the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign.

During his lecture to the Cabinet Members at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room, the Chief Executive narrated the correlation of the two notorious predicaments the country are facing – drugs and corruption via “illegal drug trade.”

“What we have is the moving forward to eradicate illegal drug trade, activate a national anti-illegal drug task force,” he said.

The task force will be composed of the personnel from the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Coast Guard, and other agencies of the government.

“It can provide a necessary personal compliment to carry out the directive of the President to the Bureau of Customs to block the flow of illegal drugs in this country,” he cited.

The President reiterated that drug-trade is a “national security threat” because ‘shabu’ enters the country almost every day.

He added that port areas’ vulnerability to corruption could allow dangerous cargoes to enter the country as well.

“Ang ating pantalan is a big gap. Not only am I worried about drugs but it is really so big as to accommodate all dangerous things — chemicals and all,” he noted.

“It could ship a bomb there, TNT, and for all you know, nobody really cares or because he does not know or because there is somebody bribing him to have the cargo just slip by. We’d never know how much corruption and to what extent would be the dimension of the danger of this country,” he added.

“Iyan ang problema. There is trouble outside the pantalan because ang pantalan mismo nagpapapasok. And that is part of the law and order situation. It has nothing to do with designation or appointment of any person. I’m just trying to control crime,” he said.

President Duterte then stood firm with his decision that positioning stern military men in customs would alleviate the drug trade problem and corruption inside the bureau.

“Now, sabi nila na it violates the constitution and the operative words there are the prohibition of appointment or designation. When I called in the Army to help the Bureau of Customs, there was no designation, there was no appointment, and there was never an instruction for them to take over the functions of the employee,” the President said.

“So ang ginawa ko is just really to order them on floating status. But that was a particular order directed for chiefs of offices and section chiefs. Iyong mga assistant nila ang magta-trabaho,” he continued. ###PND

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