Duterte says illegal drugs will 'come back' if his successor doesn't share his hardline stance

President Duterte has warned the next administration about the possible "return" of illegal drugs if the person placed at the helm doesn't share his stance against narcotics.

President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during the inauguration of the Puerto Princesa Seaport Expansion Project and the Philippine Coast Guard Kalayaan Station on Nov. 4, 2021 (Screenshot from Facebook live)

"'Yung drug remains to be a corrosive and corrupting factor in every strata of government. I’m not just saying about the police, lahat (everywhere)," Duterte said Thursday, Nov. 4 at Puerto Princesa Port in Palawan.

"So titingin ko kung ano ang mangyari sa--kung wala na ako and mag-ano ka, magluwang ka. Kasi ginaganoon ko ngayon eh. Oras luwangan mo ‘yan, babalik ang droga. Sigurado ‘yan (So I'll just observe what will happen once I'm gone and you become lax. Once you become lax, drugs will come back. That is sure), said the Chief Executive, who attended the inauguration of the Puerto Princesa Seaport Expansion Project and the Philippine Coast Guard Kalayaan Station.

Duterte will end his Palace term on June 30, 2022. He had earlier balked at running for vice president in the May 9, 2022 polls and claimed that he would instead retire from politics.

"Buti’t na lang ‘yung kung ang papalit (It would be good if the successor) would have the same dimension as... Akin kasi is (Because for me), there must be law and order before anything else. Without law and order, wala (it's useless). Kanya-kanya tayo. Kagaya noon mga ilang mayors na involved (It's every man for himself. Like before, there were several mayors involved)," he said.

Duterte was alluding to the time early in his term when he would announce the names of personalities in his "drug lists". Such list would include high-ranking members of police and elected public officials.

It can be argued that then-Davao City Mayor Duterte's hardline stance against criminality and illegal drugs swayed over 16 million Filipinos to vote for him in the 2016 presidential race, which he won in landslide fashion.

His famous campaign promise was for him to totally eradicate the drug menace in three to six months' time. As he counted the years of his presidency, Duterte admitted that his war on drugs would take the entirety of his six-year tenure in Malacañang.

"You know, you only have to have one addict in a family and that family becomes dysfunctional. Marami ‘yan, maraming namatay (A lot of people have died)," Duterte said.

"Hindi alam ng human rights ‘yan. Walang kaalam-alam ang human rights ‘yang mga pinuputol ang ulo, nire-rape (The human rights people don't know that. They have no clue about those being decapitate, being raped). Iyong iba hindi na lang nagre-report (Others aren't reported at all), but domestic crimes are abundant in a place where there is a lot of 'shabu' sold," he said.

Duterte's drug war has also become synonymous with bloodshed, so much that it has caught the attention of the International Criminal Court (ICC).