MANILA -- The administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte remains focused despite criticisms from critics, MalacaAang said on Saturday.
"While detractors of this Administration consistently deliberate on how to mudsling the President's achievements, we remain focused on how to improve the lives of our countrymen through projects that will bring about genuine change for the nation," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo was reacting to criticisms regarding the government's massive 'Build, Build, Build' infrastructure program and the war on drugs.
He took a swipe at the opposition-critics, whom he said failed to initiate major reforms during their tenure in office.
"Expectedly, the opposition, especially those who wielded powers prior to the present ones, who either by incompetence or sheer negligence failed to initiate any major infrastructure, has denigrated the initiatives of PRRD to establish the foundation for the country's development and growth," he said.
"Shrill discordant voices have polluted the air from the usual suspects disparaging the Administration's Build, Build,Build program and its war on drugs," he added.
Panelo said the 'Build, Build, Build' program already kicked-off after delays due to "bureaucratic rigmarole caused by the legal restraints and resort to judicial remedies by the losing bidders".
He added that President Duterte is facing these legal obstacles in accordance with the Constitution.
"The government's Build Build Build program has already gone out from the burner and many of our grandiose infrastructure initiatives have commenced," he said.
Citing data from the Department of Budget and Management, Panelo said the government's infrastructure and other capital outlays jumped in the first 10 months of 2018 by 50.3 percent to PHP665.1 billion from the PHP442.7 billion recorded in the same period in 2017.
"The economic horizon appears to be bright per our economic managers. The economic measures placed by them have curbed inflation and the prices in the market have gone down," he said.
Panelo said the Duterte administration will ignore a detained senator who "has described the Build, Build, Build program, 'grossly inefficient', among other nonsensical descriptives and false narratives."
"We will ignore her rantings as her senses apparently have flown to the cuckoo's nest. We will just watch her in amusement as she cantankerously pontificates like a headless chicken running berserk," he said.
Panelo took pride in the administration's drug war, which resulted in the surrender of more than a million drug addicts and pushers, arrests of drug syndicate members, and neutralization of drug lords.
"The vigorous legal process effectively contained the drug addiction to about three million Filipinos. Without the continuing battle against the destroyers of families, the number of our drug enslaved countrymen could have reached a staggering ten million Filipinos which could probably include the families and relatives of the detractors of the anti-illegal drug campaign," he said.
Panelo said the anti-drug war also has a "price to pay" as it resulted in losses in the police force, with 162 deaths and more than 700 injuries from their ranks recorded in the anti-drug operations.
"Such is a small price to pay to secure the safety of the nation from the scourge of prohibited drugs," he said.
Source: Philippines News Agency