Duterte extends drug war until 2022

(The Philippine Star) - January 31, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Oplan Tokhang is on ice, but President Duterte said his war on illegal drugs would continue until the end of his term amid the fallout over the kidnap-slay of a South Korean businessman at the hands of policemen belonging to the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group.

Duterte, who claimed during the election campaign that he could stop illegal drugs and crime within the first six months of his term, reiterated that he had underestimated the extent of the drug problem. In September last year, he sought a six-month extension of his self-imposed deadline.

“The drug war? I will extend it to the last day of my term,” the President said in a press conference early yesterday morning at Malacañang.

“Wala na ‘yung March. Eh hindi ko naman akalain. Mayor kasi ako noon. When I was making hambog, I said, ‘Stop drugs,’ ang paradigm ko was limited to Davao City (The March deadline is gone. I never knew about the extent of the problem. I was a mayor then. When I was bragging about stopping drugs, my paradigm was limited to Davao City),” he added.

Duterte previously claimed that there are close to four million drug addicts in the Philippines and that about 2,000 barangay chairmen, mayors, governors, lawmakers and judges are involved in the narcotics trade.

“When I became President and had access already to all information available and to my horror and the Filipinos and everybody including the human rights (advocates), hundreds of thousands of Filipinos are surrendering everyday,” he said.

The President announced the extension following the outcry over the kidnapping and murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo by members of the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group.

Jee was kidnapped from his house in Angeles City, Pampanga on Oct. 18, 2016 and brought to the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters at Camp Crame, Quezon City in a Ford Explorer. Senior Police Officer 3 (SPO3) Ricky Sta. Isabel strangled Jee inside Camp Crame.



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