MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has urged the local government unit (LGU) leaders to work with him in ending the illegal drug problem.
”I’m sounding off the alarm regarding drugs. Please do something about it,” President Duterte in a speech during the SULONG PILIPINAS: Local Governance Series: LGU Consultations on Peace and Order and Social Development with Luzon local officials held Tuesday night at Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City.
President Duterte assured the congressmen, governors and mayors from Luzon that he will work and cooperate with them to address the illegal drug menace, criminality and corruption.
”I will never come back this way again so I would just assure that we work together. Now, if you would say mayor, I cannot do it in violent manner, do not hesitate to tell me, I will do it for you,” the President told the local leaders.
He said nobody can stop him from pursuing his target to break all the illegal drugs apparatuses in the country.
President Duterte said even the human rights groups from the United Nations, the United States and the European Union cannot stop his intensified war on drugs that already left nearly 3,500 people dead including 1,375 in legitimate police operations and 22,387 arrested drug pushers and users.
”You cannot stop me. Although it may sound a s*** to you, it is my sacred duty to keep the integrity of this Republic and the people healthy,” Duterte said.
”I will never bend my knees to the Americans. I would rather kneel before the King of Brunei or Thailand. You can do you worst actually. But for me, I stake my job, my life and the presidency itself,” he added.
The President criticized the US, UN and EU for questioning his aggressive drug campaign through media without knowing first the real situation of illegal drugs problem in the country.
”Instead of helping us, the first to attack is this State Department. So you can go to hell. Mr. (Barrack) Obama you can go to hell. EU, better choose purgatory,” he said.
In his meeting with Jewish Association of the Philippines in Makati City also Tuesday night, President Duterte said he might eventually break up with the US at least in his term and rather go to China and Russia.
He said China is offering assistance to build rehabilitation for drug dependents while Russia told him not to worry when it comes to supply of military equipment.
President Duterte also said he cannot follow the advice of some lawmakers to stop making noise following his recent controversial statements against US, UN and EU.
”No, I cannot stop because I would lose the momentum. I cannot afford it because I am now the President. The momentum has to be there and it will be there for six years until the last pusher is taken out this place,” the President said.
”I cannot just play silent. This is my country. There is no law at all which says I cannot threaten criminals, either as a mayor or President. If there is anyone who disagrees, give me the provision of law,” he added.
President Duterte, a former Davao City mayor for 22 years, told the LGU officials that he will run after the local leaders and police who are involved in illegal drug trades.
”You know, you’re all mayors and…just count a few years, if I do not interdict this problem now, I should, I will have to compromise the next generation,” the President said, referring to the country’s over 3 million addicts.
The Duterte administration’s war on drugs has also prompted more than 720,000 drug dependents to surrender themselves to the authorities. Jelly Musico/PNA-northboundasia.com