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Duterte to Cebuanos: Expect harsher campaign vs drugs

President warns cops, PDEA men against using office as platform for crime

CEBU KILLING Von Rian Tecson, a PDEA agent, was on board this pickup truck when he was shot dead by motorcycle-riding men in Carcar City, Cebu province, on Aug. 8.—JUNJIE MENDOZA

CEBU CITY—Enjoy the luxuries of life while they last.

President Duterte issued this statement on Tuesday as he warned Cebu’s law enforcers involved in illegal drugs to mend their ways.

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Addressing the League of Municipalities of the Philippines Visayas Island Cluster Conference at the Radisson Blu Hotel here, the President said Cebuanos could expect a harsher antidrug program, especially in Talisay City, which, he noted, had been a hotbed of illegal drugs.

“Your policemen here in Cebu are addicts. Almost all, including their officials, are into drugs. Your Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) here as well, even those holding high positions, even act as distributors of illegal drugs,” he said.

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PDEA men killed

“You can enjoy a luxurious life and buy things you never have when you’re young, things you can’t afford before. Enjoy it. If you get killed, you deserve it,” he said.

He added: “If you’re a PDEA officer, you want good life, you want cars, you want women… Do not ever think that you’re a PDEA officer, a policeman, or a general. We’ll surely have an encounter.”

In 13 days since July 27, two PDEA officers—Baby “Earl” Rallos and Von Rian Tecson—were killed in separate attacks in Cebu province.

Mr. Duterte advised uniformed men who were into drugs to stop their illegal operations lest regret the consequences of their actions.

“Do not do it during my time. That’s treason, the highest form of infidelity that you can commit for the country. If you use your office as platform for crime, that is disrespect to the Filipino people,” he said.

He mentioned Mayor Vicente Loot of Daanbantayan town, a retired police official whom he linked to illegal drugs.

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“You, Loot, your training at the Philippine Military Academy was such a waste. People spent for your education. You had been ambushed several times. You’re really strong. Do not threaten me,” he said.

On May 13, Loot and his family survived an ambush by unidentified men while they were about to dock at a port in Daanbantayan.

Two drivers, a helper and a porter were hurt when a hail of bullets greeted the pump boat of Loot and his family while it was docking at the port.

REFORM President Duterte, in his address to mayors from the Visayas, warns policemen involved in the drug trade to reform or face the consequences of their actions.—MALACAÑANG PHOTO

Drug war continues

In his speech, Mr. Duterte did not mention Cebu businessman and his “kumpadre” (wedding cosponsor), Peter Lim, who could not be located after a Makati City court issued an arrest warrant against him on a charge of conspiracy to commit drug trading.

Mr. Duterte said his war on drugs would continue even if it meant more bodies of drug suspects would pile up on the streets.

“Tomorrow, there will be people who will die. Human rights advocates say I’m killing people. My God, I will not allow my country to go to the dogs. You will never succeed as long as I am the President. I will get all of you,” he said.

Critics

“Never mind if I go to jail. I’m already old. Just bring me books there [in jail]. I love to read… I’m not scared of going to prison but I’m scared of getting lonely,” he added.

He lashed out at his critics like the Commission on Human Rights, the Catholic Church and the International Criminal Court, but he said they “could not stop me from going after those involved in the illegal drugs trade.”

“You cannot acquire jurisdiction over my person over the next 1 million years,” he added.

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TAGS: Illegal drugs, President Duterte, Talisay City
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