Sarcastic Duterte says drug war death toll to rise with PNP return

Pia Ranada
Sarcastic Duterte says drug war death toll to rise with PNP return
The President also warns drug personalities, 'No human rights office will protect you'

MANILA, Philippines – In a sarcastic tone, President Rodrigo Duterte told human rights groups and his critics to expect a rising death toll after he ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to return to his war on drugs.

“Dagdagan mo na kasi magbalik ang pulis (Add to it because the police are coming back),” said Duterte on Wednesday, December 6, during a speech in Malacañang.

He had been ranting about how human rights advocates have supposedly bloated the drug war death toll. (READ: CHR tells PNP to make arrests, and not kill, in return to drug war)

“Gano’n ang hustisya mo? Tapos 10,000 isaksak mo sa akin? Pati ‘yung namatay sa sarap ‘yung gabi na ‘yun isali… Kalokohan,” he said, speaking before government appointees who were in Malacañang for their oath-taking.

(That’s your justice? You pin 10,000 deaths on me? Even those who died in pleasure that day… Nonsense.)

The PNP had been stripped of its role in Duterte’s drug war twice because of allegations of abuse of power, particularly the murder of a South Korean businessman and teenagers.

In the same speech, Duterte said he may be able to suppress the country’s drug problem in one more year, moving up his deadline to accomplish the objective by the end of his term.

No protection

Duterte also said drug personalities should expect no protection from any human rights office.

“So iyang droga na ‘yan, pasensya kayo, you better stop. No human rights na opisina o anong klase ng – will protect you,” he said.

(To those into drugs, I’m sorry, you better stop. No human rights office or whatever will protect you.)

“All that I am saying is that: Stop it. Drugs – stop it,” he added.

The President even suggested giving Valium to members of human rights groups so they would calm down.

“Ang itong mga human rights bilihan mo lang ng medisina pangkalma, Valium. Painumin mo lang, patulugin mo lang ‘yang mga yawa na ‘yan,” said Duterte.

(These human rights activists, just buy them medicine to calm them down, Valium. Let them take it, let the fools sleep.)

Duterte has consistently blasted human rights experts and any prominent figure pointing out possible human rights abuses in his drug war.

He threatened to slap United Nations special rapporteur Agnes Callamard and cursed at former United States president Barack Obama.

But he has admitted to police abuse in his drug war, amid public outrage. After the death of teenager Kian delos Santos was blamed on Caloocan City police, Duterte called for their imprisonment–

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at