MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has updated his promise to end the drug problem in the country, saying he intends to quash the menace by the time he steps down in 2022.
Duterte made the statement during the distribution of grants to unconditional cash transfer beneficiaries in Cebu City on Sunday night, February 24, and reiterated his bloody campaign against illegal drugs in another event with barangay officials on Monday, February 25.
In his speech on Sunday, Duterte reiterated that Talisay City in Cebu has been a haven for illegal drugs and directed his warning to those involved in the illicit trade in that city.
“Now you there from Talisay, don’t start something because during my term as a worker there in Pasig, this is the most dangerous time for anybody to be playing with drugs,” Duterte said in Bisaya.
“If you remain like that…I still have 3 years. I told you I will really finish the war against drugs in 3 years’ time,” he added.
Duterte had anchored his presidential campaign on a promise to end the illegal drug trade in the country in 3 months, then later extended this to 6 months.
By his third month in office, Duterte asked for a 6-month extension, and then later said it was impossible to accomplish the task within his 6-year term – a view shared by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino.
On Monday, the President again admitted that his self-imposed 6-month target “was a farce” considering the magnitude of the problem which, he said, he only realized when he became president with access to intelligence information.
Duterte made the statement as police step up the campaign against illegal drugs. (READ: Central Luzon: New killing fields in Duterte’s drug war)
‘Most dangerous time’
The President also reiterated his long-standing threat that he would “kill” those involved in illegal drugs, and reminded human rights groups not to “interfere” in his campaign.
“My time now is the most dangerous for the drug addicts and pushers. I will never let this pass,” he said on Sunday.
The campaign against illegal drugs was also among the key topics in his speech before the 1st national assembly of the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas in Pasay City on Monday.
“I will make this statement very, very clear. I promised you that at this time of our national life, it is the time during my time that it would be very, very dangerous for anybody to do drugs,” he said.
“Whether as a drug lord, wala akong pakialam kung galing kang China, galing kang Taiwan, galing kang Malaysia. ‘Pag pumunta kayo dito at ginawa ninyo ‘yan, papatayin ko talaga kayo. Kaya kayong mga Pilipino sa labas, ‘wag ninyong gawain ‘yan kasi papatayin din kayo doon,” Duterte added.
(Whether as a drug lord, I don’t care if you’re from China, from Taiwan, from Malaysia. If you come here and do that, I will really kill you. So you Filipinos abroad, don’t do that because you’ll also be killed there.)
Barangay captains’ ‘duty’
He also reiterated his assurance to the police and military that he would back them up in operations-related killings in his anti-drug drive.
“Ako mismo titingnan ko ‘yung kaso ninyo. Wala kayong dapat ikatakot na papatay mo. Mas mabuti nga kung patayin mo nga eh. Lalo ‘yang mga durugista nagdadala ng armas, ah p***** i** hiritan mo ‘yan. Pangdagdag lang ‘yan sa problema and I said they will contribute to the destruction of this nation,” Duterte said.
(I will personally review your case. You should have nothing to fear. It’s even better to kill them especially drug addicts who are armed, son of a bitch, hit them. They only add to our problem and I said they will contribute to the destruction of this nation.)
He reminded barangay captains of their duty to turn in drug personalities, and to “deal” wth them if they resist arrest violently.
“Simplehin ko ulit. ‘Pag inaresto mo ang obligasyon mo is to take him either kung maniwala siya, magsama siya, or kung makipag-away siya tapos ganoon magrambol, mabaril mo – he is violating the law. Because the duty of a citizen, lalo ‘pag nagkamali at inaaresto, the duty of the criminal is to surrender,” Duterte said.
(Let me make this simple. If you arrest, your oblgiation is to take him either if he believes you, he goes with you, or he fights with you and there’s a rumble, and you shoot him – he is violating the law. Because the duty of a citizen, especially if he does something wrong and is arrested, the duty of a criminal is to surrender.)
He said drug suspects should clear the streets unless they want to end up in funeral parlors.
“So mamili ka: mag-uwi ka na lang sa bahay o ihatid ka ng pulis sa punerarya? Ang pulis na maghatid sa punerarya maligaya. Bakit? Meron silang ‘put.’ Sino ‘yung maka-deliver nang maraming patay, eh usually pulis man ‘yan. Tawag kaagad ‘yan, ‘Amo, nandito kunin mo,’” he said.
(Choose: stay at home or let the police bring you to the funeral parlor? Police who bring corpses to funeral parlors are happy. Why? Because they get a commission. Whoever delivers a lot of corpses, it’s usually the police. They would call right away, “Boss, it’s here, pick it up.”)
“O ‘pag tawag niya, ‘Wala na, naibigay na ‘yan ni ano – ‘yung driver ng police car.’ Tapos may kita ‘yan siyang maliit. Totoo. Alam man ninyo ‘yan. Sige, mas gusto ko ‘yan. Mag-deliver kayo nang mag-deliver ng patay doon sa [punerarya],” he said.
(When he calls, ‘It’s not here, it’s been delivered by the driver of the police car. Then he earns a little. It’s true. You know that. I like that better. Keep on delivering corpses to the [funeral parlor].)
Police bring bodies recovered in the aftermath of anti-drug operations to accredited funeral parlors reportedly preferred by authorities for being “generous.” (READ: Police and funeral parlors: The business of picking up the dead) – Rappler.com