Malacañang said that President Duterte apologized to countries whose nationals died in the Philippines in the course of the ongoing drug war to make them understand that these were collateral damage to a legitimate police operation.
Roque made the statement after Duterte issued the apology following recent drug bust operations in Zambales and Bataan resulted in the deaths of four Chinese nationals who were suspected to be part of a “big-time drug syndicate.”
In his press briefing on Friday, September 10, Roque said the President probably apologized because of the country’s obligations when hosting foreigners.
“Siguro po kasi merong mga katungkulan ang lahat ng bansa sa mga dayuhan na nasa kanilang teritoryo (Maybe it’s because all countries have an obligation to foriegners who are in their territory),” he said.
“The President said that the deaths were in fact by way of collateral damage to a legitimate, sovereign exercise of police power,” he added.
In his pre-recorded public address aired Wednesday morning, September 8, the President went over how he despised illegal drugs because it subjects those who become addicted to them to slavery.
While he praised law enforcers for yielding 500 kilos of shabu worth P3.4 billion, Duterte apologized for the deaths that resulted from the operations.
He hoped that the mother countries of the fatalities would understand the situation.
“I’m sorry for the loss of lives. Hindi man natin ginusto ‘yan (We didn’t want this),” Duterte said.
“I just hope the countries from where these guys come from should understand that we have laws to follow,” he added.
Following this, the President reminded Filipinos overseas that he will not lift a finger to help them if they will be arrested for drug charges.