A church official assigned as top military chaplain expressed full confidence that newly-installed President Rodrigo Duterte can deliver his election promise to crush drug syndicates operating in the country.
Bishop Leopoldo S. Tumulak, DD, military ordinate of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) appreciated the determination and conviction of the new President to wage this campaign against drugs which has greatly affected the moral fiber of society.
Tumulak who was assigned as bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran prior his assignment in the military personally attended the turn-over of command of the AFP in Camp Crame last Friday.Â He was seated beside former Pres. Fidel Ramos, a known supporter and adviser of the Duterte.
In his strongly worded speech, Pres. Duterte warned authorities at the Bilibid Prison of their protection ring in the drug syndicate operating inside the detention center.
“Your days are numbered,” which later on he changed, saying “your hours are numbered,” as he vowed to end the drug operation inside the center which for many years have been known to be source of illegal drugs distributed to various provinces.
When asked byÂ The ChronicleÂ if he believes that Duterte can really stop the drug operation at the Bilibid Prison, the bishop categorically stated “I think he can. He is determined and sincere.”
Bishop Tumulak who is the over-all chaplain of the country’s armed forces congratulated Pres. Duterte right after he delivered his speech which was addressed to top military officials. The AFP change of command was graced by Vice Pres, Leni Robredo and other top government officials, lawmakers and diplomats.
Bishop Tumulak was assigned as top military chaplain since the time of then Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Pres. Duterte recalled that once he escorted a top drug personality from Davao to the Bilibid Prison, thinking it was the best decision to distance him from the drug personalities operating in Mindanao.
“I was mistaken,” the President was quick to say referring to the fact that the Davao based drug personality continued in his drugs operation “safely” because he was already detained.
He asked the drugs personalities who are behind bars at the Bilibid prison to stop their activities before the authorities will be the one to “stop them.”
“I know they are watching me on TV, so I warned them to stop their activities inside their prison cell,” the President said.
Speaking before the AFP at Camp Crame last Friday, Pres. Duterte asked military officials to join the crackdown on drug lords. He was emphatic in addressing the arrested druglords who continued to operate inside the New Bilibid Prison.
“You are embarrassing the government,”Duterte said referring to the imprisoned drug lords.
Meanwhile, several bishops have rallied for support to the new administration after Pres. Duterte assumed officeÂ last Thursday.
Among them were Bishops Broderick Padillo of Manila, Jose Oliveros of Malolos, Martin Jumaod of Basilan and Ramon Arguelles of Lipa.
For his part,Â Bishop Leonardo Medroso of the Diocese of Tagbilaran, even before the election, stated that it would be better for the people to give Duterte a chance to be heard of his advocacies for good governance.
In fact, the local diocese took exception from reading the supposedly pastoral letter of CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas.