By Genalyn Kabiling
Foreign drug cartels should “lay off” the Philippines, or risk getting decapitated.
This was the warning given by President Duterte last Tuesday amid his relentless crackdown on the narcotics trade.
The President issued the kill threat after admitting the country was getting a “double whammy” from two international drug syndicates, the Sinaloa cartel of Mexico and the Chinese triad.
He noted that such drug menace has even prompted Sri Lanka Prime Minister Maithripala Sirisena to emulate his anti-drug campaign by “killing the bastards.”
“You push me to – to box me on a wall then I will say to you, you can do it, but remember I am there waiting – especially the [Sinaloa] guys – especially the Chinese connection in the triangle -– triad. I will wait for you. And if I find the time, if I’m not busy, I will also decapitate you,” the President said in his speech in Davao Tuesday.
“Remember, my fellow brothers and sister in this planet of whatever race, religion and creed, nobody but nobody has a monopoly of evil in this universe. If you can do it, I can do it. If I can make it worse than yours, I can do it,” he said.
“So lay off the Philippines. Stop your business or you die. Simple as that. No human rights, I don’t give a sh*t,” the tough-talking leader added.
The President said the country was “buffeted on both sides” given the presence of the two foreign cartels engaged in drug trafficking.
“We get a double whammy. The [Sinaloa] cartel of Mexico are expanding and the greed for money, easy money, dirty money increases their appetite every day,” he said.
“On the western side, we have the golden triangle, also a well-known drug cartel in Asia and doing now business in the East Asian countries, prompting even the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to say, ‘I will follow Duterte. I will kill the bastards,'” he said.
Duterte has welcomed the Sri Lanka leader’s decision to follow his campaign against the illegal drug trade. “Good.. that he has a good shining example,” he said.
Sirisena visited the country last January and lauded Duterte’s strategy in fighting the drug trade. He said Duterte’s war on drugs was an “example to the whole world and personally to me.” “Drug menace is rampant in my country and I feel that we should follow your footsteps to control this hazard,” Sirisena said.
The President, meantime, lashed anew at human rights groups who were more concerned about the drug offenders rather than their victims.
He said slain drug addicts have been falsely portrayed as “saints” or “victims” as if they had “no sin at all committed against the Filipino people.”
“Let us first investigate the hapless people who are not powerful enough to get security guards, who have to ride public conveyances to go home late at night, molested, disturbed, acts of lasciviousness. Let us first consider the situation,” he said.
“And after I have killed all of the drug pushers, maybe we can talk about their rights,” he added.
The government’s drug crackdown has drawn criticisms from rights groups here and abroad amid concerns about alleged extrajudicial killings and other abuses. The President has ignored human rights concerns, and instead vowed to press ahead with the war on drugs even at the risk of getting sued and jailed.