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In his first New Year message as president, President Duterte shrugged off international concerns on his drug war.

Instead, he call on everyone to help and join him in his continuing campaign to flush out illegal drugs in a bid to bring the country to greater heights.

“I invite everyone to be our government’s partners in our fight against illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption; and in attaining peace and development in our country,” Duterte said.

In a New Year’s message in Filipino and English versions, Duterte wished everyone a happy celebration with loved ones.

“My warmest greetings to the Filipino people, here in the Philippines and across the globe, as we celebrate the New Year,” he said.

“…there is no greater happiness than spending time with our loved ones during the holiday season,” he said.

“I hope that we will all enjoy the time of the year by demonstrating love, solidarity, understanding, happiness, and optimism towards our personal ambitions and national aspirations,” he said.

The administration will continue to work for the people, he added.

“Soon, we will be once again pre-occupied with our daily grind and usual day-to-day activities. Many will forget the events of the year. But we, in government, will remember because it is our solemn duty to evaluate our work and make sure that its gains redound to the common good.”

On the business side, he vowed to create more jobs in a hope that no Filipino will have to work abroad in the future.

“Let us work together to enliven our business environment — by attracting more investments and creating more job opportunities for our people– so that, in the near future, working abroad would only be an option for our kababayans and not a necessity,” he added.

“The achievement of these goals will reclaim order and safety in our communities and will enable us to restore the people’s trust in government and in our people’s capacity to serve,” Duterte said.

“Let us all welcome 2017 with renewed determination and a reinvigorated spirit so that we can surmount the challenge ahead,” he said.

“I wish all of us a fruitful and a meaningful year,” the President said.