BUSINESSMEN and other professionals in Nueva Ecija welcomed the brand of discipline that the apparent Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has been known for, but those suspected with shady reputations are obviously apprehensive.
Small-time peddlers and suspected drug users in Cabanatuan City, as well as beer house regulars refused to talk after hearing that Duterte will implement a 10 p.m. curfew for unescorted minors, and regulate the sale of liquor in bars up to 1 a.m.
They had openly opposed Duterte’s candidacy in the recent election campaign.
Duterte previously pointed to illegal drug use as the chief cause of heinous crimes in the country, including rape, robbery, and murders, among others. He said punishing the suspected drug addicts and pushers will lessen such crimes if not totally eliminate them.
Nueva Ecija police director, Supt. Manuel Cornel, also expressed dismay over the proliferation of illegal drugs particularly in the main urban center of Cabanatuan. He identified the villages of San Juan Accfa, Imelda, M.S. Garcia and D. S. Garcia as the drug hubs in the city. These urban poor villages, whose residents pass on the petty drug trade in the family from parents to children and their next of kin, comprise 70 percent of Nueva Ecija’s drug source.
Cornel also expressed disappointment over unruly police officers. “They are bad examples and should be meted with a strong fist policy. I fully support (would-be) President Duterte,” he said.
Even as many would be willing to heed Duterte’s disciplinary action plans, there were also some who asked for leniency. Marianne de la Cruz, a student of Bongabon National High School, wished for an extension of the proposed curfew hours to 12 midnight to let them finish their internet research. “We don’t have internet signal in our village (of Vega),” she told The Manila Times.
A housewife, however said in Pilipino, “How I wish [would-be President] Duterte will make good with his plan to eradicate drug addiction. Put them all in jail. This is the number one problem in our town.”
Antonio Chua, owner of car and motorcycle distributor Royce Motors, approves the disciplinary schemes of Duterte. “We look forward to the [proposed curfew and liquor ban]implementation. It will do good for the young people,” he said.