President Duterte: No friendship in the war against drugs

MANILA — “He’s my friend, but …”

With this statement, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte promised he would soon release a drug matrix involving a friend and Senator Leila de Lima allegedly being the highest public official linked to the Muntinlupa drug trade.

The President did not name the friend, whom he identified as “a governor” during a chance interview with reporters in Malacanang after the oath-taking ceremonies for the newly-appointed Board of Directors and officers of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the Philippine Exports Confederation Inc (PhilExport), the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) and the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA).

In his speech before the captains of the industry, President Duterte mentioned the gravity of the drug menace affecting 3.7 million Filipinos.

The success of the President’s anti-drugs war has its share of critics. President Duterte, however, remains unperturbed. Quoting Abraham Lincoln, the President said, “’If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how—the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what’s said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”

The President earlier vowed that the fight against drugs shall be sustained and relentless.

“This fight against drugs will continue to the last day of my term,” Duterte underscored. PNA/