- Communications secretary weighed in on senators’ criticism of president
- He rebuffed De Lima, denied Duterte coddling drug lords
- He also said both senators have the right to express their opinion
MANILA, Philippines – Communications Secretary Martin Andanar responded to two senators’ latest potshots against Pres. Rodrigo Duterte after the latter admitted ordering PNP chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa to reinstate Supt. Marvin Marcos as chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Region 8.
Andanar rebuffed Sen. Leila de Lima’s claim that Duterte was coddling drug lords but said they respected her opinion.
“I do not think he is a drug protector and I do not believe and it has not crossed my mind that the President is what he is as you said,” he told GMA News. “The President is the President of the land and he is the number one protector of our laws in the land. The senator has her own opinion. She is entitled to her own opinion. She is a senator of the land. And let her and let our Department of Justice secretary answer her.”
Andanar extended the same courtesy to Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson; saying he also has a right to express himself.
Both senators scored Duterte over the reinstatement order; saying it cast doubt on the government’s consistency in the campaign against drugs.
Mentioning suspected drug lord Peter Lim, De Lima accused Duterte of selective justice.
“After the Peter Lim episode, where a supposed drug lord kumpadre of the President is allowed to leave the country, we must start asking ourselves this question: whether or not the President, rather than De Lima, is actually the number one drug lord protector and coddler in the country,” she said.
Lacson, on the other hand, said he now has doubts whether the anti-drug campaign will succeed given this latest incident.
“Now I’m starting to doubt the sincerity of a drug war that has so far netted at least 4,000 killed, more than 20,000 arrested and more than 800,000 surrendered. I now have serious reservations that it will succeed. Talk about double standard; talk about double talk. Change can’t come this way,” he said.