Sen. Win Gatchalian on Tuesday urged the Duterte administration to maintain a balanced allocation of law enforcement resources between the government’s aggressive anti-illegal drugs campaign and other public safety priorities amid successive blasts that have rocked Manila’s densely populated Quiapo district in recent days.
“These bombings serve as a tragic reminder that there are many public security issues aside from illegal drugs that deserve the attention of law enforcement authorities. The government needs to manage its law enforcement manpower and intelligence resources wisely to make sure we have all our bases covered, from counter-terrorism efforts to the War on Drugs. We shouldn’t put all of our eggs in one basket,” said Gatchalian, a member of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security.
Although it remains doubtful whether any of the recent bombings were indeed the work of ISIL or another terrorist organization, Gatchalian expressed concern that the recent string of successful bombings would embolden terrorists within the region to launch attacks in the Philippines.
Gatchalian also urged President Duterte to fully mobilize the National Security Council, the country’s top national defense and security body, to shore up strategies to neutralize any possible terrorist threats looming over the horizon.
“The last thing we want is for terrorist groups to get it into their heads that the Philippines is an easy target that they can use to promote their despicable agenda. The Philippine national security apparatus must be ready to crush public security threats and mercilessly destroy any terrorist organization that would dare to endanger the safety of our people,” said Gatchalian.