President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a two-hour State of the Nation Address on Monday, JUly 24, 2017 before a joint session of Congress at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City. Philstar.com / AJ Bolando

Duterte vows to keep drug war amid human rights concerns
Rosette Adel (philstar.com) - July 24, 2017 - 12:31pm

MANILA, Philippines — In his second State of the Nation Address on Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated his vow to continue his controversial war on drugs campaign.

Duterte said the crackdown against illegal drugs will continue because for him it is "the root cause of evil." This was despite several criticisms received from both local and international human rights groups as well as expert findings that the drug trade thrives where there is poverty, weak rule of law and poor health policy.

The fight against illegal drugs will be unrelenting. Despite international and local pressures, the fight will not stop until those who deal in it understand that they have to cease, they have to stop because the alternative is either jail or hell," Duterte said in his SONA speech with the theme of "comfortable life for all."

READ: Rambling 2-hour SONA: Duterte skips key issues

The president said he does not intend to lose the fight against illegal drugs while he shrugged off human rights and due process concerns.

Duterte said that instead of condemning the authorities and blaming the government for every killing in this country, his critics should just use their authority to educate the public about illegal narcotics.

READ: A look at major issues Duterte is confronting in his 2nd year

"To the critics against the fight [against illegal drugs], your efforts will be better spent if you use the influence, moral authority and ascendancy of your organizations over your respective sectors to educate the people on the evil of illegal drugs," Duterte said.

"Don't get me wrong, I value human life the way I value mine," he added.

A total of 3,200 alleged drug personalities have died in police operations from July 1, 2016 to June 20, 2017. On average, nine alleged drug suspects were killed daily during the eleven-month period.

The United States Congress last Thursday conducted a hearing into the human rights consequences of the war on drugs in the Philippines.

READ: Rights groups want tougher stance on Duterte's drug war from Trump

In his first year in office, Duterte received several criticisms even from international leaders. He threatened to cut ties with nations which criticized his war on drugs including the European Union and the United States under former President Barack Obama.

Despite this, Duterte continued his call on the public to join his crackdown against drugs.

"That is why I ask you to join me in this fight against illegal drugs and all forms of criminality. The government equipped with legal authority and your moral ascendancy over the sector you represent can do so much and hopefully eradicates the social scourge that plagues us to no end," he added.

Philstar
Facebook
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with
Read and share the latest news
whenever and wherever you are.
Top Stories
Features the most relevant stories,
exclusive content, analyses and special reports.
As It Happens
Get bite-sized highlights and up-to-date
information as the news breaks.
Latest
View the most recent
stories of the day.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 1
Click the story in the As it Happens section.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 2
Click "Follow Story" for updates on the news.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Author
STEP 1
Click on the author's name in the article.
How to follow Author
STEP 2
Once you click on the author's name, you will be
brought to the Authors page. Click "Follow Author"
to stay updated on the author's works
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Tags
STEP 1
Click on a tag in the article.
How to follow Tags
STEP 2
When you click on a tag, it will take you to the
dedicated tag page where you'll see the article
viewed, along with other stories with that tag.

Click the "follow tag" button to stay updated on
the topic.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.