Innocent has nothing to fear — Palace

March 03, 2019
Salvador Panelo

NO need to worry about their safety if they are not involved in the narcotics trade.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the assurance yesterday after a survey showed the majority of Filipinos were worried they might become victims of extrajudicial killings (EJK).

“Alam mo ‘yung mga nangangamba hindi ano yun, hindi kataka-taka dahil may mga namamatay sa mga drug buy-bust operation. Pero kung hindi naman sila involved, wala silang dapat na ikabahala (You know it’s not surprising that they are worried because some people are killed in drug buy-buy operations. But if they are not involved, they have nothing to worry about),” Panelo said in a radio interview.

In the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted last December, 78 percent of the 1,440 respondents said they were worried that they or anyone they know could become a victim of EJK. This was higher than the 73 percent recorded in June 2017.

The December poll showed 22 percent said they were not worried, compared to 27 percent in June 2017.
The same survey indicated that 71 percent believed the government was serious about solving the EJK, compared to 63 percent in June 2017.

Panelo said the government’s campaign against illegal drugs has been “successful” so far, citing the arrest of many drug offenders and dismantling of drug laboratories.

The Palace official proudly noted that the government’s gains in the drug war were not attained by the previous administration.

On the discovery of cocaine packages floating along the country’s shores, Panelo acknowledged the government was having difficulty patrolling its vast shoreline. He said it was easy to enter the country due to many access points to various islands.

“Maraming paraan ang pagpasok sa bansa. Geographically ang ating lugar madaling pasukin dahil hindi mo mababantayan ang lahat ng islands dito sa dami. Kaya nakakapasok pero the fact is nahuhuli (There are many ways to enter the country. Geographically, our country is easily accessible because you cannot guard all the islands because they are far too many. That’s why they can enter easily but the fact is they get caught),” he said.

Earlier, President Duterte declared plans to wage a harsher war on drugs amid the intrusion of foreign drug cartels such as the Sinaloa of Mexico and Medellin of Colombia.

Duterte argued that the discovery of cocaine packages in the country’s shores proved that the notorious syndicates are already operating in the country.