Image Source: independent.co.uk

It’s heart-warming to read news reports on the initial actions President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has taken to fulfill his campaign promises, foremost of which is his pledge to stop criminality in three to six months.

Duterte’s appointment of Chief Superintendent Ronald dela Rosa as the incoming chief of the 160,000 strong Philippine National Police (PNP) is a step in the right direction.

Duterte said Dela Rosa is honest, has sterling performance as a police officer and follows orders.

Dela Rosa shares Duterte’s outrage against crime and vows a relentless drive against lawless elements, especially those engaged in illegal drugs.

He told reporters recently, “Our focus? Patayan sa drugs. Patayan talaga ito sa drugs kaya kayong mga drug lord diyan, humanda kayo. Talagang sasagasaan ko kayo (Our campaign against illegal drugs will be relentless, that is why to you drug lords out there, be ready we will go after you).”

Dela Rosa said his leadership will be concentrated on drugs because almost all crimes are seemingly connected to illegal drugs.

With his appointment as PNP chief, he realized that the burden of fulfilling the campaign promise of Duterte to end criminality in three to six months rests on him and the police organization he would lead.

Asked if it is doable, Dela Rosa said: “Kakayanin natin. Magpapa-chief PNP ka tapos hindi mo kakayanin. Dapat kayanin mo (We will make it doable. You want to be PNP chief and say you can’t make it? You should and must deliver),” he said.

Dela Rosa said, however, that the campaign against illegal drugs will start in the backyard of the PNP, meaning he would run after policemen involved in illegal drugs.

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“How can you cleanse outside if your own house is not clean? So all policemen involved in illegal drugs, you should leave (the organization) now,” he said.

Another laudable appointment Duterte has announced is that of Emmanuel “Manny” Pinol who will be the secretary of agriculture.

Pinol, who is former governor of North Cotabato, echoed the incoming President’s pledge to stop smuggling, particularly rice smuggling. Pinol also said rice importation by the private sector will stop.

Shortly after he was picked as the incoming agriculture secretary, Pinol started visiting farmers in the mountains and remote areas to know their problems. He said he wants to tell Duterte the problems in agriculture as soon as the Davao City mayor is sworn in as President.

We know personally Pinol, and we could vouch for his honesty and integrity. A man of principle, he is a former sports writer of the Tempo newspaper and boxing announcer and analyst.

With these two key appointments, there is a reason for Filipinos to hope for a better Philippines under the Duterte administration. We pray for the success of Duterte’s programs.