Duterte to Coast Guard: Help eradicate illegal drugs, 12 Oct. 2016

Even the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will now take an active role in eliminating the drug menace.

President Rodrigo Duterte has underscored the need for the PCG to upgrade its capability to successfully combat terrorism, human trafficking and the narcotics trade.

During the 115th anniversary of the PCG on Wednesday (Oct. 12), the President also led the commissioning of the BRP Tubbataha, the first of the 10 multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) from Japan which he said would help secure the country’s borders.

”We need the ships. If you count the number of islands of about 7,000 plus that [cover] so many great mile of coastlines, it is not enough. But at least we have the ships to begin with. The old ones plus the new one that has been delivered to us would greatly help us in this endeavor,” he said.

Expressing his gratitude to Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa, the President said the two countries have a long history of friendship and cooperation. The President is scheduled to visit Japan late this month.

The Chief Executive noted that Japan is one of the country’s top aid donors. In Davao alone, Japan has funded numerous projects through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Duterte said the acquisition of MRRVs, which features fire monitors, night vision camera, and radio direction finder, is under the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project awarded by the Philippine government to the Japan Marine United Corp.

“Our main focus now is terrorism, human trafficking, and drugs,” he said.

He stressed that he gives extraordinary attention to fighting illegal drugs because it will destroy the country in the long term, especially the young generation of Filipinos.

The President once again reminded the police and military to do their job well in eradicating the drug menace.

He assured them of his continuing support as long as they serve the country with utmost dedication. PND