Duterte says he will continue ‘drug war' even after term

Published May 24, 2022, 8:58 AM

by Raymund Antonio

Expect President Duterte to continue waging war against drug lords and drug peddlers even after he steps down from office because he believes illegal drugs ruin the country and end lives.

President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his “Talk to the People” public briefing on Monday, May 23, 2022. (Malacañang photo)

During a late-night “Talk to the People” on Monday, May 23, the President shared insights into what he would be doing after June 30, the end of his six-year term.

“Pero ako basta ako galit ako sa droga. Presidente ako o hindi, galit talaga ako sa inyo. Kaya (But me I am angry at drugs. President or not, I am really angry at you. So) we can continue this fight even if I am already a civilian,” he said.

Drugs, the Chief Executive added, “will make the Philippine society dysfunctional.”

“Kaya sabi ko (That’s why I said), I’d rather — I’d be happy to see you dead than alive kayong mga (you) drug lords. Iyong basurero (The garbage collectors), the peddlers, ano na ‘yan (that’s),” Duterte said.

The outgoing President explained that peddling drugs is akin to ending people’s lives.

“So gusto kong dapat malaman ‘yan ng mga durugista (So, that’s what I want to drug users to know). I will forever remain your enemy. Iyan ang tandaan ninyo (Remember that),” he stressed.

Duterte’s bloody drug war has caught the attention of human rights advocates and international media. To date, more than 6,000 have reportedly been killed in the name of his administration’s flagship anti-illegal drugs campaign.

Some human rights organizations believe this could balloon up to 30,000 victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs).

On Monday, the President lamented that more drugs are entering the country, mentioning the biggest haul of 1.6 tons of shabu, the poor man’s cocaine. This amounted to P11 billion worth of illegal drugs.

He shrugged off human rights defenders, saying “all that they can do really is posturing.”

“They should be able to kill the drug lords without mercy. Hayaan mo ‘yang human rights na ‘yan. Hindi makatulong sa bayan natin ‘yan (Let that human rights. They will not help the country),” Duterte said.

There is a pending case against him before the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has since been deferred to provide more time for presentation of proof that the country’s judicial system is working against the killings that happened in the name of his bloody war on drugs campaign.

The President has refused consistently to acknowledge the ICC’s involvement in the case, maintaining that it does not have jurisdiction on the country’s domestic affairs.