Ilocanos laud Duterte’s resolve to continue anti-drug war

LAOAG CITY — The people of Ilocos Norte were glued to their television sets on Monday afternoon, listening intently as President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his third State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Hearing the Chief Executive express his utmost desire to improve the lives of the Filipinos, Arthur Valente, a government worker and environment advocate in Currimao town, said he felt Duterte’s sincerity to effect change.

“In his previous State of the Nation Addresses, he made mention of his accomplishments and his concentrated efforts on illegal drugs, including the flaws of past administrations. Now, he was focused on what must be done for the Filipino people,” said Valente, adding that the President is indeed serious when he said that his administration wants to uplift the lives of the people as well as to protect the environment.

“I like the way he mentioned about various reforms and legislations on environment and economy while urging local government units to act on these,” he said.

When asked what she thought was the best part of the President’s speech, Rhona Ysabel Daoang, officer-in-charge of the Communications and Media Office of the Ilocos Norte government, said it was his “Your concern is human rights, mine is human lives” statement.

For Daoang, it means the President is solid in his conviction to fight criminals and illegal drugs at any cost to ensure public safety.

She also said, “I personally hope he will fulfill his promise to strengthen the environment law, especially in the light of the closure of Boracay”.

Meanwhile, members of the Philippine National Police in Ilocos Norte intensified their visibility in public parks here in time for the third SONA of the President.

On Monday morning, Senior Superintendent Cesar Pasiwen, Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Director, instructed police personnel to monitor any crowd gathering.

No protest action or any untoward incident was reported so far in the northern Philippines province. Leilanie Adriano/PNA