“When there is political will, there is a way.”
This, according to Quezon City Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo, who lauded the success of President Rodrigo Duterte’s unrelenting campaign against crimes and the illegal drug trade.
Castelo was reacting to the results of the recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey that showed drops in the annual average of property crimes, common crimes, the presence of drug addicts, the fear of burglary, and the fear of unsafe streets.
The numbers speak for themselves, and reveal gains in the government’s efforts to prevent crime and reduce the proliferation of illegal drugs.
“The numbers speak for themselves, and reveal gains in the government’s efforts to prevent crime and reduce the proliferation of illegal drugs,” said Castelo.
“The annual averages for 2017 shown in the surveys indicate the positive impact of the President’s anti-crime and anti-drug campaigns on the lives of Filipinos over the long term,” added Castelo.
The SWS survey revealed a 2% reduction in the annual average percentage of Filipinos who were victimized by common crimes between 2016 and 2017––President Duterte’s first full year in office––which stood at 7.6% and 5.6%, respectively.
Castelo stressed that the 2017 figure is a record low, even lower than the 6.2% posted in 2015.
The annual average percentage of Filipinos victimized by common crimes, on the other hand, also dropped by two percentage points, from 8.2% in 2016 to 6.1% in 2017.
The poll also showed an 11.5-point drop in the annual average percentage of the presence of drug addicts, from 56.3% in 2016 to 44.8% in 2017.
Castelo, who chairs the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, pointed out that the numbers in Metro Manila were likewise encouraging, as 57.8 % of respondents on average in 2017 said that there were drug addicts in their communities, as opposed to 70% in 2016.
“These are significant drops, and they serve to vindicate the decision of President Duterte to stand his ground and continue the war on drugs despite pressure here and abroad. That is true political will. That is true conviction,” Castelo emphasized.
President Duterte began his second State of the Nation Address at the Batasang Pambansa in July last year with a vow to continue the war on drugs and criminality.
“I have resolved that no matter how long it takes, the fight against illegal drugs will continue because it is the root cause of suffering. The fight will be unrelenting, despite international and local pressures, the fight will not stop,” said President Duterte.
Castelo shared that what the survey also revealed was that “people generally feel safer when they do not live among and walk the streets with drug addicts.”
The SWS survey showed a drop in the annual average percentage of Filipinos who feared they would become victims of burglary, from 60.3% in 2016 to 57% last year. Less than half, or 49.8%, of Filipinos surveyed in 2017 also said that they felt the country’s streets were unsafe, compared to 50.5% in 2016.