VICE President Sara Z. Duterte on Monday, September 5, said the government should show “no mercy” to criminals and terrorists as it aims to enhance coordination and cooperation on national security.
“Our policy against criminals and terrorists and those that support and espouse their ideologies of violence should be hardline. We should show no mercy to criminals and terrorists,” the Vice President said in a conference.
Duterte, who is designated as officer-in-charge (OIC), met with the security sector to reinforce peace and order efforts while President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. is away for state visits.
She said the objective of the meeting was to “strengthen existing coordination and enhance interagency cooperation on issues concerning our national security and the country’s development.”
“Initially, we discussed the peace and order situation in our country today and how we can maintain the security of the country until President Marcos comes back from his state visits,” Duterte said at a press conference.
The vice president said there were no threats to security and that the meeting with the security sector was conducted to ensure peace amid the absence of the President.
“As the caretaker, may I reiterate the Marcos administration’s direction towards aggressively pursuing programs and projects that will address social inequities and further propel the country’s progress post-pandemic,” she said.
The vice president emphasized that the Philippines will only be able to “truly recover and rebuild post-pandemic and stand meaningfully with honor and pride” if the threats to the nation’s national security are successfully addressed.
The meeting was attended by Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro; Philippine Army commanding general, Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr.; Bureau of Fire Protection chief Louie Puracan; Bureau of Jail Management and Penology chief Allan Iral; Philippine Coast Guard commandant, Adm. Artemio Abu; Philippine Air Force commanding general, Maj. Gen. Arthur Cordura; Philippine Navy Vice Commander Caesar Bernard Valencia; and Philippine National Police deputy chief for administration, LtGen. Jose Chiquito Malayo.
Marcos left the country on Sunday morning, September 4 for a three-day state visit.
On Tuesday, September 6, he left Indonesia, and headed to Singapore.
Duterte’s appointment as OIC is in accordance with the Special Order No. 75 signed by Executive Secretary Victor “Vic” Rodriguez.
Under the order, Duterte was also assigned to “oversee the general administration of the Executive Department.”
If necessary, Duterte may “act for and on behalf of the President, except on matters that the President is required by the Constitution to act in person, during this time that the President is outside the Republic of the Philippines from 04-07 September 2022.”
Marcos visited Indonesia from September 4 to 6, upon the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and on September 6 to 7, he was set to meet Singaporean President Halimah Yacob.
The Philippines is expected to sign several agreements with Indonesia and Singapore during Marcos’ state visits. RGL