Duterte: It’s my duty to destroy those who destroy country
DAVAO CITY—President Duterte vowed to continue the war on drugs despite local and international criticism over the way he has been pursuing it.
“It’s my duty to destroy people who will destroy my country,” he told policemen at their Camp Quintin Merecido regional headquarters here on Thursday evening.
Mr. Duterte said even threats of sanctions by the European Union (EU) and the United States cannot force the government to yield and stop the fight.
“If they do not want ties, they want to cut trade, fine. We will survive,” Mr. Duterte said.
The US had blocked the sale of assault rifles to Philippine security forces for fear they would be used for extrajudicial killings while the EU threatened trade sanctions.
Opposition lawmakers and human rights groups also condemned Mr. Duterte’s first year in office as a failure, particularly in fighting drugs and on the issue of human rights.
But the President said he does not care how people rate his one-year performance as chief executive.
“You can rate me good, very good, excellent or very poor, I don’t mind,” Duterte said.
The President also dared his detractors to file more cases against him before the International Criminal Court (ICC), like Sen. Antonio Trillanes and Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano who earlier filed cases at the ICC over his bloody war on drugs.
“You file cases against me. Just give me the right to be heard,” Duterte said, saying there is no law against threatening drug criminals with death.
“If I tell the world ‘Do not destroy the young people of my country,’ for heavens’ sake, tell me what is wrong with that statement?” the President asked.
He said the government has the right to defend young people from illegal drugs that could destroy their future.
The President bristled as he lambasted the EU for suggesting his iron-fisted method in tackling the drug menace was not working.
“If I make you happy, good. If you’re sad because of what I’m doing, sorry,” he added.
On the other hand, Mr. Duterte remained grateful to Chinese billionaire Huang Rulun for his donation of a drug rehabilitation facility in Nueva Ecija.
He said he will not meddle in China’s reported investigation of Huang, a billionaire who was removed from his post in the Fujian province purportedly for bribery.
“I [will] not comment on the domestic affairs of China, especially one who has been kind to us,” Mr. Duterte said.
He noted that Huang did not ask for anything when he donated a 10,000-bed rehabilitation facility inside Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City.
“He just wanted to be of service to his fellowmen,” he said. “I am thankful for his help.” —WITH A REPORT FROM LEILA B. SALAVERRIA
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.