FORMER Senate president and current senatorial candidate Juan Ponce Enrile Sr. rated the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte nine on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 as the highest.

“I will rate him nine in a scale of 10 because no government is perfect. He’s doing the right thing both domestically and internationally. His foreign policy is correct, in correct direction. His domestic policy to arrest criminalities especially the drug problem is correct,” Enrile said during a press conference at Blue Lotus Hotel on Wednesday, April 10. 

Amid criticisms received by the Duterte administration from its staunch critics, he said it is only right for the government to act on security threats like the illegal drug problem.

“What is government for by the way except to maintain order in the society [and] maintain peace? When the congress, the representation of the sovereign, the people will decide to create a law and criminalizes behavior, it is the mandatory duty of any President to enforce it. He cannot escape that otherwise he’s no President,” he said.

Enrile served as a senator for four terms from 1987 to 1992, 1995 to 2001, and 2004 to 2016.

He favored the direction that the current government is taking especially in its relations with China.

Asked on what his stance is about the government’s loan arrangement with China, he said that there’s nothing wrong about it.

In the previous administration, the country sought the help of other countries for its infrastructure program such as Europe, United States of America and Japan, thus, getting a loan from China does not make any difference.

“Kung tayo'y matatakot, maiiiwanan tayo dito sa mundo. Basta pag umutang tayo at kaya natin yong interest, at ilalagay natin sa imprastruktura, wag natin lulustayin, pakikinabangan ng taong bayan ‘yon,” Enrile said.

The loan from China, he said, will further spur employment opportunities among Filipinos and help boost the economy and efficiency of the country. He added that if the country will not take advantage of it, it will be left behind.

With the growing number of Chinese nationals working in the country and fearing to take over the job opportunities for Filipinos, he said that there should be new policies in immigration to prevent them from entering the country.

“Ngayon nagpapadala din tayo ng mga OFWs sa abroad eh siyempre, hihingin din nila na magpapadala din sila ng kanilang mga tao dito sa Pilipinas. Kung kailangan natin ng mga Instik na magagaling sapagkat marami na silang engineers na magagaling at skilled workers na magagaling, marami silang scientists, bakit hindi makakatulog sila sa atin,” he further said.

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