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Duterte: Drug menace derails PH growth

/ 10:58 AM June 17, 2015
DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (left) talks on federalism and countryside development before the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the City of San Fernando.  TONETTE OREJAS/INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (left) talks on federalism and countryside development before the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the City of San Fernando. TONETTE OREJAS/INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON file photo

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur – The proliferation of illegal drugs is so serious that it “can pull the country down,” Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday.

In a speech delivered during the 20th Caraga Business Conference held here, Duterte said the spread of illegal drugs has become the top problem of local executives in the country.

“I have been everywhere. I have talked to many mayors and all of them admitted that proliferation of illegal drugs was the major problem,” he said.

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Duterte said with the “real and present danger that illegal drugs [poses] in the country,” efforts at competitiveness could derail unless something serious was done about it.

“It can pull this country down if it won’t be controlled,” he added.

In illustrating his point, Duterte said shabu has been flooding towns and cities because it was easy to manufacture. He said reports had it that in Metro Manila alone, 9 out of 10 barangays (villages) were “contaminated with shabu.”

Drug syndicates also thrive because “they can corrupt everybody,” he said.

Duterte lamented that the problem did not seem to get the attention it deserves despite it being a serious one.

“I am very vocal against it because I know how serious it has become,” he said, adding that he has no patience when it comes to illegal drugs.

READ: Can the Philippines afford a ‘kamay na bakal’?

Speaking to reporters after his speech, Duterte said that addressing the drug problem entails the “concerted and well-coordinated effort” among various sectors and local government units.

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He said that the lack of a concerted effort would also make areas vigorously campaigning against drugs suffer.

“Even if Davao City, for example, vigorously campaigns against illegal drugs, we could still expect drugs to be brought in because the neighboring areas are not as vigilant,” the feisty mayor added.

On Monday afternoon, Duterte told Davao City reporters that he did not care if drug syndicates had hatched a plan to assassinate him because he was more worried about the children that they could victimize.

READ: Drug gangs allegedly out to neutralize Duterte, possible presidential bid

“I don’t mind it. If it is my time, it is my time,” he said.

The supposed kill-Duterte plot was made public last week by former North Cotabato governor Emmanuel Piñol, who is now with Duterte’s camp.

Piñol said they received a “raw but reliable intelligence report” that “big drug lords based in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao have linked up to put up a united front against a Duterte.”

“Information gathered showed that there are three strategies to be employed in neutralizing Duterte,” Piñol said.

He said the first option was to “eliminate Duterte before he could even decide to run for the Presidency through assassination.”

Another move the drug syndicates had considered was the use of massive black propaganda against Duterte.

“The third would be the use of drug money during the campaign period and the elections to ensure the defeat of Duterte,” Piñol said. Karlos Manlupig and Allan Nawal

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TAGS: drug problems, drug proliferation, drug use, Drugs, Rodrigo Duterte
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