Lobregat: ‘Shock and awe’ in Duterte’s first 50 days PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 20 August 2016 11:45

By SHEILA COVARRUBIAS

Congressman Celso Lobregat has described President Rodrigo Duterte’s first 50 days of administration as “shock and awe”, saying the former mayor of Davao city for 22 years has initiated a real change in the country which the people have longed for.

“Change is here and the President is serious in what he is doing. And as you can see for yourself, the effect is really shocking to those who are sort of guilty, and awe to those who wanted change,” Lobregat said.

During the meeting of the House Committee of Appropriations this week where a press briefing was called about the national budget preparations, its members were asked about how they described the first 50 days of Duterte administration.

The lawmakers from the majority coalition in the House of Representatives lauded President Duterte for quick changes he has introduced in the first days of his administration. The majority allies who are also high-ranking officers of the House appropriations committee in which Lobregat is sitting as the vice-chairman, said they were impressed at how Duterte implemented his campaign promise of cracking down on drugs in nearly two months of his watch. Duterte vowed to eliminate drugs within the first six months of his term.

“If we look into the response of the people, in terms of their trust rating and satisfaction rating, performance rating it is clearly seen in numbers, the public responded very well to the President’s anti-drug campaign down to the barangay level,” Lobregat said.

Lobregat shares the same opinion of the House Appropriations Committee chairman and Davao City Representative Karlo Nograles, who said the thousands of drug users surrendering to authorities, as well as Duterte’s issuance of a freedom of information (FOI) executive order covering the executive department, were indications that change has come as the President had promised in his presidential campaign.

Nograles said that Lobregat’s reaction was very correct and said that the President has delivered his promise of change and the campaign promises that he made, one by one he’s starting to deliver it to the public.

Lobregat believes that Duterte exceeded his expectations for accomplishing a lot in 50 days as opposed to his promise of making an impact in the first six months of his administration.

“I think the first 50 days of the new President has been very productive and an excellent beginning of his presidency and as you can see, it keeps on counting numbers trying to minimize if not eliminate the drug menace in the country,” Lobregat said.

He also cited the signing of the executive order on the Freedom of Information and his intensified campaign against illegal drugs is pushing him up in trust ratings among the Filipinos.

In a separate interview, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez also agreed with the comment of Congressman Lobregat saying that the solon was right in his assessment, seeing the vulnerability of the results of the serious campaign and the “serious change” initiatives of President Duterte.

In Zamboanga City alone, Lobregat said, the campaign against drugs has reached an unparalleled level. Based on the records of the Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO), from January to June 2016, there were 252 anti-illegal drugs operations conducted, 339 persons arrested, Total shabu confiscated = 324.6776 kg and 227 cases were filed in court against the suspects. From July to August 18, 2016, there were 103 anti-illegal drugs operations, 152 drug suspects arrested, 431 grams of shabu sachets were confiscated, 2 Ecstacy tablets, 88 cases were filed in court. The total drug surrenderees has reached 8,513 of which 8,239 were users and 274 are drug pushers. Total number of houses knocked -11,775. – Dexter Yap with reports from 17th Congress Media Affairs and Public Relations Service