Duterte: Drug menace will turn PH into Asia’s ‘Mexico’
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte continued his rant against the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country, warning that the Philippines would soon become Asia’s Mexico because of the national government’s indifference towards the drug menace.
“If the drug threat persists, we could be the next Mexico,” he said.
Mexican drug cartels often use violence and money to dominate the global wholesale illicit drug market. It started controlling the cocaine trade in the United States and since 2007, accounted for about 90 percent of it, according to data from the US Drug Enforcement Agency.
On Sunday, Duterte repeated the warning during a speech delivered before members of the Junior Chamber International in Pasay City on Sunday, a close aide said.
“We (Philippines and Mexico) have the same temperament, even the same patrons,” the aide quoted him as saying.
Duterte said that like Mexico, the country’s illegal drug trade has become dominated by large syndicates – which havc been using their money and influence to skirt prosecution.
“In Manila, almost all (policemen) are on the take. When they are called for an operation, many of them would squeal. They will warn criminals about the operation, because they are on the take,” he said.
And even if they were in detention, he said drug lords could proceed with their illegal trade, citing the discovery of the activities of convicted drug lords inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Earlier, Duterte lamented what he said was the Aquino government’s seeming neglect of the growing drug problem that it was not even included in the recent state of the nation address delivered by the President.
He said the drug problem has become so serious that it has become a national security concern and mayors could attest to this.
“You ask every mayor and they will say their number one problem is drugs,” he said.
“I supposed (President Aquino) was not given the information about the drug problem. It was only a month ago that the Manila Police revealed that nine out of 10 youths are influenced by drugs. That is dangerous, it involves national security,” Duterte said.
He said that while the drug problem has become serious, the national government has not done much about it, or even cared to consult with local executives on how to go against it.
Duterte recalled that during the time of President Fidel Ramos, mayors were regularly summoned to Malacañang for consultative meetings on problems hounding local governments.
In trying to support his assertion that the drug problem has become a national security issue, Duterte said three million have become drug addicts in the Philippines.
“If you have three million addicts, it means that you have at least 30,000 drug pushers,” he said.
Given these numbers, he said the government might not be able to avoid a bloody war against illegal drugs.
He then repeated his earlier warning that he would not think twice about killing pushers if they violently resisted arrest.
“I told you, when you come to my city and sell drugs, I will really kill you,” Duterte said.
Aside from neglecting the illegal drug problem, Duterte said the national government, ironically, has been running after those seriously fighting the problem instead.
He said his response to the problem, for example, was more important to the Aquino government, particularly Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, than the actual threat the illegal drugs trade has been posing to the country.
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