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President: Drugs at its lowest in 2022

By: Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos

President Duterte reiterated his campaign battle cry to bring positive change and end the scourge of illegal drugs in the country within his term.

Duterte, in a speech in Davao City Friday night, said he will do everything to solve the illegal drug menace in the country and assured the public that drugs will be at its lowest by the end of his term.

“I have to stop drugs, really stop. And it will stop,” Duterte said. “I, Rodrigo Duterte, will defend and protect the Filipino nation. Period.”

“I assure you, by the time I make my – kung buhay pa ako – five years from now, drugs will be at its lowest,” he added.

Duterte defended his common phrase threatening to kill people, particularly drug personalities, who try to destroy the country, specifically the youth.

He said there is no law that prohibits a President from threatening people who try to destroy the country.

“So, find me a law – wherever you come from – point out to me a law in your country and in my country, which says you cannot threaten a criminal from destroying your country,” Duterte challenged his critics.

“Is there a law, which says you cannot do it? Is there a law which says that you cannot blurt such statements as, ‘Do not bring our children to perdition because you’ll not only lose your funds, you’ll lose your life?” he asked.

Duterte slammed local and international human rights groups for criticizing his administration and seemingly supporting criminals and drug personalities. “It is not fair for criminals to rule the day and just say that you have a human right,” Duterte said.

“You have the human right to live, that’s accepted; you have the human right to go around wherever you want, you’re a citizen of this Republic, you can travel, you have all the Constitutional right. Pero pag sinabi mo na, “I have human rights so when I kill somebody…,” he said.

“That’s b***s*** to me. That is really b***s*** to me. Huwag mong sirain ang Pilipinas, kasi pa-patayin talaga kita.

Do not f*** with my children because I will kill you,” Duterte added.

During the campaign period last year, Duterte vowed to rid the Philippines of illegal drugs in three to six months.

However, he extended his self-issued deadline until the end of his term after admitting that he did not realize the depth of the drug problem, citing four million drug dependents in the country.

The illegal drugs trade in the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City made resurgence despite the presence of Special Action Forces troopers, prompting the resignation of Bureau of Corrections chief Benjamin de los Santos.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar said Duterte is frustrated by the resurgence of the illegal drugs trade at the NBP. The Chief Executive admitted that it would be difficult to get rid of the drug problem in the national penitentiary no matter who heads the BuCor.

However, Andanar said that the administration is not blaming anybody for the resurgence of the illegal drugs trade at the NBP.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said certain actions are being overtaken to address the drug situation at the NBP.

He also said that the resurgence has definitely presented quite a challenge for Duterte. “Certain actions may have been overtaken by events, especially by what has happened down South. But that is not the excuse,” Abella said, referring to the ongoing armed conflict in Marawi City.

“If you’re asking if the President is dismayed, definitely this presents quite a challenge. However, we’re up to it and we will make sure, we’ll make sure that is properly addressed,” he added.