Duterte unfazed by drug war criticisms: 'You want me to go prison? So be it'

President Duterte is not backing down from his bloody war on illegal drugs even if he ends up in jail.

In his visit to Cagayan do Oro City Friday, the President said he is ready to go to prison over his relentless campaign against illegal drug trade, renewing his resolve to protect and preserve the people.


Duterte remained unfazed by complaints raised by human rights groups, saying he would not allow drug syndicates to destroy the nation.

"Human rights, do you think I would be happy to see these things? And you want me to go to prison? So be it. Fine. I'm ready," he said in his remarks.

Since the start of his term in 2016, the President launched an aggressive crackdown on the narcotics trade after he promised to eliminate drugs and criminality during the campaign. The death toll in the anti-drug campaign has reportedly reached more than 5,000.

Various rights groups have deplored the bloody drug war amid concerns over the alleged extrajudicial killings and rights abuses linked to the campaign. The President has ignored the criticisms and even offered to take full responsibility for the drug war. But he has repeatedly reminded policemen to perform their duty in accordance with the law.

The President, in his remarks Friday, warned anew those behind the drug trade not to "disturb" and "destroy" the nation particularly the youth. Duterte said he was striving to build a safe country and bring a comfortable life for Filipinos.

"Do not destroy my country. This is my only country. Do not destroy our young daughters and sons. They are our only assets," he said. He lamented that the shabu has shrunk the brains of users, rendering them "useless." "Practically he's already a carcass," he said.