Duterte: War on drugs to continue until 2022
CLARK FREEPORT — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday extended his campaign against illegal drugs until the end of his term in 2022, revising his original timetable of six months.
“Droga (drug war) is a nonissue to me. It will be a policy until the dying days of my presidency or my life,” Mr. Duterte told business and civic leaders gathered at the Asean Convention Center here.
Enslaved to narcotics
Mr. Duterte said there were four million drug addicts in the country, “enslaved to narcotics with monkeys on their backs forever.”
He also discussed an “incongruity within the United Nations.” Showing a report from the International Narcotics Control Board, Mr. Duterte read aloud the bad effects of cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy.
When he reached the part involving “meth” (methamphetamine), he said this drug caused “aggressive, violent and bizarre behaviors among users.”
“They ask, ‘Why is Duterte killing poor guys and not the rich guys. But these rich guys take heroin and cocaine, which are [drawn from] organic poppy,” he said, unlike the purely chemical meth, or “shabu.”
Mr. Duterte said he was losing six to eight soldiers and policemen daily in Mindanao in the course of stopping the proliferation of illegal drugs.
‘Leave us alone’
“I’m ill-mannered. I talk crass because UN has conflicting [statements],” he said, citing the attacks he had been getting from UN human rights advocates in spite of the agency’s findings about narcotics.
Foreigners, he said, should “leave us alone.”
“We do not enjoy killing. That is not a good policy,” Mr. Duterte said, but “42 percent of barangays are contaminated with drugs while 9,000 policemen are in the shabu business.”
“I will walk not only the extra mile. I will walk for one day to find it. But in the meantime, I will not allow my country to go to the dogs,” he said.
But he said he could not just wait for the drug menace to worsen. “When I was [Davao City] mayor, all I said was, ‘Do not destroy my city. I am not a policeman. I am a mayor and I built this city.’ When I became President, I said, ‘I am a President, not a soldier, not a policeman. I am trying to build a nation. Allow me space to build a nation,’” Mr. Duterte said.
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