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Duterte: No letup in drive vs drugs

By: Genalyn D. Kabiling

The brutal drug war will continue.

President Duterte ruled out a cessation of the government’s fierce war on illegal drugs despite human rights concerns, saying those killed in the operations are considered “collateral damage.”

The President said he has ordered the police and the military to destroy the apparatus of the drug trade, admitting the Philippines has become a “narcotics country.”

“Hindi ko hintuan ‘to. Hindi na ako hihinto dito. That’s why my order to the police and to the human rights, if you are listening – stupid. I said to the police and the military: Destroy the apparatus, the organization of drug syndicates,” he said during his visit to Ozamiz City last Thursday.

“Kung may mamatay? Sorry. Collateral damage ka,” Duterte said.

The President affirmed he is determined to do his job to protect and defend the nation from the drug menace, saying he could not care less about human rights.

“Sinabi ko doon sa mga governors, pati mayors, do not ever, ever f*** with drugs because if you destroy my country, I will kill you,” he said.

“I’ve been repeating that. Human rights, p**** wala akong pakialam sa inyo. May trabaho ako at gagawin ko if you destroy the youth of the land and rob us of our most precious.”

The President’s statement came on the heels of the death toll from anti-drug operations conducted by the police in Bulacan and Manila.

Duterte praised the anti-drug operations in Bulacan and even threatened to order the shooting of human rights advocates who obstruct justice. “Let’s kill another 32 everyday, maybe we can reduce what ails this country,” the tough-talking leader said.

The President, in his remarks last Thursday, admitted he was wrong to promise to wipe out the drug problem in the first three to six months in office.

He claimed that he underestimated the gravity of the country’s drug problem, saying he realized its extent only after assuming the presidency.

“Now, magtanong kayo, ang Pilipinas: Are we or are we not a narcotic country? Yes we are,” Duterte said.

Duterte also said he would back the policemen performing their job but warned those who commit abuses. “Ang warning ko lang: Do not lie to me. Just tell me the truth because there is always a remedy. In the performance of duty, wala kayong problema,” he said.

The President traveled to Ozamiz to warn the local police and other supporters of slain Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. against getting involved in illegal drugs. He has already offered P2 million as reward for each policemen involved in the narcotics trade in Ozamiz.

“Pumunta ako dito just to assure you at kayong mga taga-Ozamiz, nakatikim na kayo ng narco-politics. It is here to stay for a while. I hope that I can get rid of it before I go out of my office,” he said.