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Taking the drug problem as a national security threat, President Duterte has offered a P2-million bounty for the arrest of “ninja” policemen or those coddling drug syndicates in the country.
In a speech commemorating National Heroes Day in the country, the President declared that dirty law enforcers will be first on his target list as he vowed to be “harsh” and relentless in the war on illegal drugs.
“I might be inclined to place a reward on their head – the members of the ninja or members of the police who are then protecting the drug syndicates in this country,” the President said during the memorial for fallen heroes at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City. “I’m placing per head R2 million and you might want to, ipagbili na ninyo ang mga kaibigan ninyo,” he added.
The President pledged to “finish” the drug problem within his term, admitting it has become a threat to national security. He bewailed that the “drug crisis” has infected “every nook and corner of this country involving generals, mayors, governors, barangay captains, and so many ninjas” or policemen “who are into it.”
“I will fight criminality and drugs, most of the criminal acts are really on the account of the drug menace, so I will not relent. The campaign will be continuous and I will, as I have said in the campaign rallies all over the country, I will be harsh as I can ever be,” he said. “I will finish this problem of corruption, drugs, and crime and I hope at the end of my term,” he added.
The President also declared that he would take full legal responsibility for his intensified campaign against drugs as he directed both the police and military “to destroy the drug apparatus” in the country.
Unfazed by criticisms of alleged human rights violations, Duterte also said he was ready to die or even go to jail for policemen and soldiers fulfilling their mandate to promote peace and order in the country. “Prison? No problem.
I will go to prison. I will not even ask for a special room, just give me a bed with a foam, give me something to read. There are so many books that are piling up and I never really had a chance to read them all,” he said.
The President brushed aside accusations that he may face war crimes, including genocide, for his bloody campaign against drugs, calling his critics “crazy.” “Do not scare me about human rights. Genocide? Bakit sino ba pinatay ko?
Wala naman akong pinatay na bata,” he asked.
All he wants, Duterte emphasized, is the safety and protection of law-abiding and God-fearing Filipinos.
He said he wants to ensure that people could go freely around the country without being molested, held up, or attacked by criminals. “We will reach that point. You have to remove me as President or pray that I will die in the meantime with no resurrection,” he said. (GENALYN D. KABILING)