Filipinos in Vietnam back Duterte war on drugs
HANOI, Vietnam – The Filipino community in the Vietnam capital is backing President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against illegal drugs as they look forward to discussing issues during his first official visit to the country.
Leaders of the overseas Filipino workers here expressed support for the popular leader’s anti-narcotics campaign, adding that they are willing to help their homeland in whatever capacity.
Feliciano Felix, the president of the Filipino community in Hanoi, said they have heard much about the government’s agrressive drive to stamp out the illegal drug menace in the news.
“Actually, we are very in much in favor of that, because that’s being done for the sake of the next generation,” he told reporters in an interview on the eve of Duterte’s visit.
The President is expected to arrive in Hanoi on Wednesday afternoon on his first official visit to Vietnam, meeting with top leaders to discuss areas of bilateral cooperation.
First on Duterte’s plate, however, is his meeting with the Filipino community in Vietnam, which numbers around 3,800.
The meeting on Wednesday evening will take place at the Intercontinental Hotel in the nation’s capital.
Filipinos working in Vietnam are mostly professionals, supervisors and managers in the construction sector and garments industry, while others are English teachers and medical professionals.
Another Filipino professional working in Vietnam, Emmanuel Lopez, said Filipinos in Vietnam are treated well and regarded highly because of their contributions in helping build the nation.
The Filipino community helped the Philippine embassy organize the President’s two-day visit.
Lopez said more than than 550 Filipino professionals working in Hanoi have signed up for the encounter with Duterte.
“He is doing the anti-illegal drugs campaign not for himself, but for the next generation, our children. We’re in favor of that,” he said, adding that they support the President.
The Filipino community in Hanoi will first meet to discuss which issues they want to raise to Duterte during their meeting.
Lopez, for his part, said they are ready to help their homeland in whatever capacity they could.
“Personally as Filipinos, we are just here to help in whatever way we could. We’re all Filipinos here. Whatever may improve the Philippines, we’ll help,” he said.
Asked to describe Duterte, Lopez only used one Filipino word for the President – “Iba. That’s all.” CDG
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