Yearender: Duterte, drug labs closure, Clark airport define 2016

The electoral victory of President Rodrigo Duterte, the dismantling of shabu laboratories in Pampanga province and the entry of Philippine Air Lines (PAL) in the Clark International Airport had given peace and development a shot in the arm in 2016. And hopefully, the country will see more positive developments in the year 2017.

Duterte was ushered to the presidency with a firmed resolve to finish the problem on illegal drugs. After he took power, the noose tightened on illegal drug syndicates down to pushers and users. In Pampanga province, seven shabu laboratories had been dismantled – three in Angeles City, specifically in Timog, barangay Pampang; Villa Dolores, in Barangay Sto. Domingo; and Hensonville, in Barangay Malabanias; one in the City of San Fernando, one in Magalang town, where a hog farm-turned-shabu lab was unearthed; a kitchen-type shabu facility in Apalit town and one in Arayat town, the location of the mega shabu laboratory.

No other administration had been successful in dealing with the drug problem other than Duterte, who faced the issue with brute force and no mercy. As the new year ushers in, expect no mercy from his vow to end the drug problem. It’s either the drug lords shut their operations or ship out.

While some parents rejoiced over the grinding halt in drug trade others prefer to bash Duterte on the alleged extra judicial killings. Violence is treated with violence. The Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, however, concluded there is no state-sanctioned extra judicial killings (EJK) and no evidence to prove the existence of the so-called Davao death squad.
Duterte said he has to protect the interests of the Filipino people and the country. That is the most important thing but someone has to answer to the senseless killings even of children caught in the crossfires.

Of all provinces, why did Pampanga province became the repository of shabu? Seven shabu laboratories is no big joke – it’s big problem. If not for Duterte, these shabu laboratories would have continue producing this deadly substance that will further ruin the lives of the Filipino youths and even adults. At the moment, the Pampanga mothers, some 10,000 of them had approved of the war against drugs and even volunteered to become watchdogs.

In Clark, finally the Philippine Air Lines (PAL) launched its daily flight to Caticlan, Aklan via the Clark International Airport after so many years of trying to get them to reconsider Clark. Duterte and of course with the support of Clark International Airport Corporation Alexander S. Cauguiran were able to convince PAL to launch flights at the CRK in a bid to decongest imperial Manila.

The entry of PAL in Clark is a gamechanger. It will further boost the viability of the once listless airport where local and foreign carriers just come and go at their will. While conglomerates were joining the expansion plan for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and others eyeing a new international airport in Sangley Point, Cavite City and somewhere in Bulacan – Clark airport remains the best option for the government.

As 2017 ushers in, we can only hope for the best. May the coming year bring us peace and prosperity in the country. Happy New Year!

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