Pres. Duterte urges soldiers to sustain war on drugs even if “I will not be here in this world”

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday urged the military to take care of the country by sustaining the war against narcotics, even if “I will not be here in this world”.

”If the (drug) problem will still be there and I (will) not be here in this world, please take care of our country. Do not allow our country to take a deadly spin on drugs,” the Commander-in-Chief said during his visit to the First Scout Ranger Regiment (FSRR) Headquarters at Camp Tecson in San Miguel, Bulacan.

President Duterte pointed to the 3.7 million Filipino drug pushers and users scattered across the country as proof of the nation’s serious drug problem.

”It was never known to us na ganun pala karami (that the problem was this extensive). There are 700,000 (pushers and users) who surrendered,” Duterte said.

In front of more than 300 Army Scout Rangers, President Duterte showed a new narcolist composed of some 1,000 barangay captains, mayors, governors, policemen and judges.

President Duterte did not name names but promised to make public soon the thick list of individuals mostly local government leaders linked to drugs.

”The final report is there. I am about to make it public. I talked to the congressmen, what I will do with this. There are about 1,000 barangay captains, mayors, congressmen governors, policemen, judges. They are all there,” he said.

The President said the list was finalized by the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

”I really do not know how. I will just to talk to your commanders. It’s really thick (list). That’s our problem. Hindi ko kaya ito. Masisira ako. (I cannot solve this myself. I will be ruined.) Now if you want to help me. If not, I really don’t know,” the President said.

“I may not be able to solve it. This problem may outlast me. Now, my concern is please take care of the country,” he added.

To help soldiers fight the drug menace, President Duterte showed a copy of a certificate of a .45-caliber Glock 30 sidearm to be given to soldiers.

”I will endeavor to give each one of you. Just do your job. No problem with me. In accordance with my order (to fight drugs), I will assume full, legal responsibility and I will go to jail alone,” President Duterte assured the soldiers.

In closing, President Duterte appealed, “Do not allow drugs to destroy the next generation. Do not destroy the Filipinos.”

President Duterte has been making the rounds of military camps since he assumed office last June 30 to assure soldiers of his government’s full support. Jelly Musico/PNA/