Former Civil Service Commission chair Ricardo Saludo in his column for the Manila Times said that should Presidengt Rodrigo Duterte be removed from office, all that he fought for in the past six months would be for nothing.

Saludo said that if Vice President Leni Robredo replaces Duterte, all the progress that he has done in the fight against drugs and criminality will be undone. Duterte slashed crime and rugs, recast relations with America, China and Russia and exposed hundreds of corrupt officials and policemen but it would be for nothing if he leaves.

 He said it would please the drug kingpins and millions of clients, along with thousands of corrupt officials. Crime rates significantly decreased since Duterte sat as President, total crime was down by 12.4 percent in July-November, compared with the same months in 2015.

Index crimes dropped by almost one-third, and nearly all types of crimes against persons and property by double-digits, except killings.

 “That performance contrasts with the tripling of incidents under then-President Benigno Aquino 3rd, from 324,083 in 2010 to more than 1 million a year in 2013 and 2014, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.” he said. “Now, imagine if an Aquino-backed leader takes over the presidency, restoring many of his policies and appointees. Would it curb crime?” he added.

Aquino’s Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which allows US forces to escalate deployment and use bases in the country, would be fully implemented if Robredo takes over. Saludo said this would make PH a threat to China.

 “No $50 billion in Chinese projects, and no Filipino fishermen back at Scarborough Shoal. Instead, the People’s Liberation Army would probably start building military-capable facilities at the disputed lagoon 200 km from Subic.” he said.

 He also said that politicians protected by Aquino would be back in business including drug protectors.

“Now, if adversaries of Duterte’s reforms succeed in taking him out, would the next leaders have the daring, drive and determination to continue his law enforcement, foreign relations, and anti-graft initiatives?

 Or would they conclude that opponents of change are too tough to beat?” he said. He said Filipinos would lose if Duterte does.

 “Bottomline: If President Duterte loses to the crime syndicates, corrupt officialdom, and Western powers that want him out, backed by defenders of verbal decorum and funeral propriety — so does the Philippines.” he said.

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