INCOMING Interior Secretary Gen. Eduardo Año on Friday vowed to crush terrorists and eradicate drugs in the country, two major rallying points that President Rodrigo Duterte had emphasized to him.
Año said his new turf would be a vital tool in fighting terrorism and the war on drugs.
“We will align the local governments to the programs of the President, especially in the fight against terrorism and the war on drugs and how to deliver services and good governance,” Año said.
Año, the retiring Armed Forces chief, will pass the torch to outgoing Eastern Mindanao Command Lieutenant General Rey Leonardo Guerrero on June 2.
Sources closed to both generals said the turnover in Camp Aguinaldo will be led by Duterte.
Duterte had asked Año in February to crush the Abu Sayyaf in six months, but the timetable has been disrupted following his appointment to the DILG.
However, during his tenure as AFP Chief of Staff, the campaign against the Abu Sayyaf had resulted in the death of 81 of the bandits and the surrender of at least 50 of them in Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan.
“There has been a tremendous reduction in their strength and their ability to conduct terror attacks and atrocities,” Año said.
He said that while it was the mandate of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine National Police to support the agency, “we’ll find many ways how they can win the war on drugs by observing the rule of law.”
He said the way to address the proliferation of illegal drugs was to focus on the drug syndicates.
“The important thing to do is to cut the source of drugs. It’s like the insurgency wherein the root causes of it should be address. It’s the same with the war on drugs, we, the citizenry, should work together,” Año said.
Año, who is scheduled to assume office on June 2, vowed to institute reforms in his new turf.
“It’s very important that the image of the PNP should be morally high to be able to get public cooperation,” Año said. With Florante S. Solmerin