MANILA, Philippines – In his first public speech for 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte promised that in the next 3 years, the “big fish” in the illegal drug trade will be killed.
“I’m just warning for the remaining 3 years na ‘yung malalaki, talagang tatamaan ‘yan (the big ones will really get hit),” said Duterte on Thursday night, January 3, during the birthday celebration of former presidential adviser Francis Tolentino in Tagaytay City.
“And if you ask me kung mamatay ‘yan? Mamamatay talaga ‘yan. Nasabi ko na eh, huwag. Huwag dito sa akin. ‘Pag big-time ka, hindi kita papatawarin,” he continued.
(And if you ask me if they will die? They will really die. I already said, don’t. Not during my time. If you’re big-time, I won’t forgive you.)
The President did not hesitate to be graphic about how he wanted drug lords and crime bosses to die.
“Sa harapan ng human rights, I will slit your throat. Wala akong pakialam. Sabihin ko sa inyo, huwag mong gawain ‘yan sa bayan ko. Talagang yayariin kita. So I could not be more clear,” he said.
(In front of the human rights groups, I will slit your throat. I don’t care. I will tell you, don’t do that to my country. I will really kill you. So I could not be more clear.)
Duterte’s presidency will end in 2022. In the first years of his administration, he was severely criticized by some sectors for drug-related killings that involved largely the poor – alleged drug peddlers and addicts.
The police’s anti-drug raids also often took place in impoverished communities and rarely in gated subdivisions of the more well-to-do.
To such criticism, Duterte said that shabu, the most prevalent illegal drug in the country, is a “poor man’s drug” and is supposedly mostly used in depressed communities. (READ: Justice remains elusive 2 years into Duterte’s drug war)
To dispel talk that his administration has failed to run after individuals higher up in drug syndicates, Duterte keeps a long list of names of alleged drug lords, politicians, judges, and police supposedly involved in the illegal drug trade.
While he has released some names, he has shown the rest only to law enforcers. Some people in the list, including mayors, have ended up dead. In the case of Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr and Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr, they were killed during police operations. – Rappler.com
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