Duterte feels 'useless' over PH crime survey results

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President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech at the Philippines-Korea Business Forum and Luncheon in Seoul, Republic of Korea. (Presidential Photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 27) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he felt useless after learning that a private pollster found that 6.6 percent or an estimated 1.5 million Filipinos fell victim to common crimes, challenging local officials to join him in resigning if they cannot eradicate the problem.

"Pag ganito, wala ako'y silbi, I will ask you to join me, mag-resign na lang ta," he said in an oath-taking event of village officials in Zamboanga del Sur, expressiing disgust despite the poll showing a drop in the number of crime victims.

[Translation:If this is the case, I'm useless, I will ask you to join me and we shall resign.]

Duterte has made the campaign against drugs and criminality the cornerstone of his presidency, and has been often dubbed as "Duterte Harry" after the "Dirty Harry" ruthless police investigator played by Clint Eastwood.

Duterte's words were in contrast to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque's statement last week on the results of the Social Weather Station (SWS) survey that showed a drop in the rate of crime victimization.

"Such public sentiment is certainly a big boost to the morale of our law enforcement agencies as we vow to continue to ensure the safety of all Filipinos," Roque said in a June 21 media briefing.

Results from the SWS released that day revealed 6.6 percent of Filipino families, or an estimated 1.5 million, fell victim to common crimes during the first quarter of 2018. Common crimes include theft, break-ins, and physical violence.

This was down from December 2017's 7.6 percent.

"There seems to be a semblance of a republic and a nation but inside, it's topsy-turvy. It's crime-ridden," the President added during his rambling speech.

Duterte criticized local government units for being nonchalant about problems in their areas of jurisdiction.

"There is always the illegal logging. There is always the illegal drugs. The high rate of crime in your municipality," he said. " Ano bang ginagawa ninyo? [What are you doing?]"

The President then said the state of the country does not rest on him alone.

"I do not mean to offend you. But the yoke of burden does not fall on me exclusively. Hindi ko kaya itong republika na ito na patakbuhin kung wala kayo [I cannot run the Republic without you]," he said.

He added he called on Interior Undersecretary Eduardo Año to make an audit of mayors and local government leaders whose areas of jurisdiction have high crime rates and high drug use -- in line with his campaign promise to fight criminality and illegal drug use in the Philippines.