Duterte hopes successor will continue drug war

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Duterte hopes successor will continue drug war
Duterte said it is his “sacred duty” to fight illegal drugs, which is punishing Filipinos and making families dysfunctional.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has expressed hope that his successor would continue his controversial crackdown on illegal drugs, a problem that he described as an “everyday fight of Filipinos.”

Duterte said it is his “sacred duty” to fight illegal drugs, which is punishing Filipinos and making families dysfunctional.

“I just hope that my successor – perhaps he does not want a really strong reaction, maybe you can temper it a little – but he should not forget about drugs. Drugs is destroying our country,” the President said during the 156th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio in Caloocan last Saturday.

“If the father goes down because of drugs, it will be a dysfunctional family for all. There is no more food on the table, there is no more discipline for the children, and the wife and husband invariably will separate,” he added.

The Chief Executive claimed that drug lords are luring people to use narcotics every day.

“The problem is there are plenty of them every day recruiting, because those affected by drugs will look for a victim to support his habit... Maybe his own wife or his children will contaminate him to support his own. When the monkey rides on the back, then he has to have the fix,” he said.

“We are being punished. We are being imposed and beaten by drugs and it’s not our fault. Drug lords and then the young and all... It is an everyday occurrence and it is an everyday fight for the Filipino,” he added.

Authorities said more than 6,000 drug suspects have died since Duterte launched his war on illegal drugs in 2016, worrying human rights advocates who claim that the campaign is endorsing extrajudicial killings and other abuses.

The President has denied this and has accused critics of the campaign of ignoring the plight of victims of drug addicts.

Two communications have been filed before the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeking Duterte’s indictment for alleged extrajudicial killings.

The Chief Executive belittled the complaints anew last Saturday, saying the ICC cannot prove that he was behind the killings.

“You know, we have repudiated the International Criminal Court. And I said you cannot prosecute me for a thousand years,” Duterte said.

“There’s no such a crime as extrajudicial killing. They will individually count the dead and charge it to you. Let’s see,” he added, stressing that he was ready to debate with members of the ICC, whom he described as “idiots.”

The President also expressed hope that someday, he will be able to “show them how stupid they are.”

“Do not be afraid of those cases,” he said. “Mas bright ako sa kanila (I am brighter than them).”

In March, the Philippines left the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the ICC, in response to the tribunal’s decision to conduct a preliminary examination on Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs.

Officials claim the ICC did not have jurisdiction over the Philippines because the Rome Statute was not published in the government’s official publication.

The ICC, however, insists that the Philippines still has the obligation to cooperate with its investigation.

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