Faced with an “enormous” drug problem, President Duterte is considering authorizing government forces to bomb the ships bringing drugs to the country to smithereens.
The President presented the drastic military option against the drug shipments during his State-of-the Nation Address Monday, saying there should be “no mercy” to groups involved in illegal drug operations.
“If I had just the plane and time I could ang sinasabi ko – sabi ko sa military, pag nakita ninyo e di pasabugin mo maski nag-surrender ‘yan, may white flag. Pang giyera lang iyan, hindi iyan pang-kriminal, pasabugin mo,” the President said in his speech before a joint session of Congress.
“Show no mercy to them because they are not doing any mercy to us anyway,” said Duterte, who has promised to suppress drugs and crimes in the first six months in office.
The President admitted though that the drug trade has become a “free-for-all enterprise for criminals at this time.” If the government neutralizes one drug dealer who dumps the illicit cargo at sea, he said it is likely that another group will pick up the pieces and resume the illegal trade.
Even as he vowed there will be no letup in the anti-drug campaign, Duterte also conceded that the country needs the support from international allies to effectively put an end to the illegal operations.
“If we do not (get) help from our friends here in Asia and America and Europe, the sheer number and problem, believe me, will drown us a republic,” he said.
He also said big drug lords do not operate in the country, saying those arrested are “just the lieutenants and delivery boys.”
Duterte said he would want to kill the drug lords but would have to go abroad to pursue them. “Ang problema pupunta pa ako doon, then I’ll ask the permission from this country that I will be on because I have to slaughter these idiots for destroying my country,” he added.
He said the government is “hard put” in intelligence gathering since the drug trade has become so high-tech that operators have their own “direct satellite” to track their products.
“They do it by technology. They’re cooking it in the international waters. Tinatapon nila ang bulto by the drums, dikitan nila ng GPS so makikita agad,” he said.
“That is really the enormity of the problem. It’s so enormous that you are intimated even just to make a move because you know you cannot stop it anyway,” he added.
In the same speech, the President has called on the police, local government executives down to barangay chairmen not to lower their guard and instead “double your efforts, triple them if need be” in the fight against illegal drugs.
“We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier, and the last pusher have surrendered or put behind bars or below the ground, if they so wish.”