MANILA – Neophyte Senator Manny Pacquiao went out of Malacanang by almost midnight on Monday with all his questions on intensified anti-illegal drugs campaign and proposed death penalty revival answered by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte.
Pacquiao, whose incredible rags-to-riches boxing story made him senator, said he met President Duterte upon the latter’s request to know from the President how he can help in the government’s drive to stop drug menace and criminality.
”I think we met for almost an hour starting at 11 p.m. I asked the President where I can help in his fight against illegal drugs,” Pacquiao said in a media interview before the session.
Pacquiao said the death penalty was also discussed with the President, who like him is from Mindanao.
”He is asking from the people that the death penalty should be passed so that it will help also (in fighting illegal drugs and criminality),” he said.
The senator said he was also supporting the proposal to re-impose the death penalty against drug lords and heinous crimes.
”He (the President) really wants the re-imposition of death penalty and of course I also support it,” Pacquiao said.
On the spate of extrajudicial killings and summary executions, Pacquiao believed that some of the drug lords are behind the summary executions to prevent the victims from exposing their names to the authorities.
”Not everybody were killed in the police operations. Many of them were killed by their fellow drug dependents,” he said.
The first boxer to win eight world titles in eight different categories said he was supporting the ongoing illegal drug campaign “because I’m worried for the safety of my children.”
Pacquiao said had President Duterte not won in the last May elections, “we will not know how rampant already the illegal drugs in our country.”
”Even to the remotest barangay, the drug problem is rampant. If we have no President Digong now, this illegal drugs will continue and more people will become crazy because of drugs,” he added.
Pacquiao is part of the supermajority of 21 senators in the Senate headed by President Duterte’s political ally Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III, who is also from Mindanao. JELLY MUSICO/PNA/northboundasia.com