Duterte says drug menace 'worse' than he has let on
MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte claimed Sunday that the thriving drug trade in the country is even worse than the grim projection he has made so far.
Duterte said narcotics are now being manufactured in non-traditional places, like on board ships.
"They're cooking shabu, on-board sa ships. Tapos Chinese registry," he said.
Floating 'shabu laboratory' found in Subic Bay
He added that top drug traffickers continue running the underground industry even from behind bars. "They were directing the traffic sa loob."
Duterte, however, declined to substantiate his allegations, saying "Magpakita ako ng restraint muna ngayon."
He vowed a no-holds-barred exposé instead when the proper time comes.
"When I come face to face with them, makinig kayo. Sabihin ko talaga ang sama ng loob ko lahat sa kanila," he said.
Duterte's statements came a week after police raided a floating shabu laboratory along the coast of Barangay Calapandayan, Subic, Zambales.
PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa, who boarded the fishing vessel, said the boat was being used to bring illegal drugs to the Philippines from abroad.
Duterte justified his public shaming of alleged drug personalities, saying he is duty-bound to protect Filipinos and expose alleged illegal activities in the country.
Drug personalities should not demand due process before he names them in public, he said.
"Why will I give you process? I'm the President, hindi ako nagpo-proseso. I just name you publicly because it is my sworn duty to protect the nation and tell you what the problem is and who are the people behind it," he said.
Duterte also said he will not be cowed by protests from rights advocates who fear that he may have violated the rights of suspects when he identified them without prior formal investigation.
"I will stake the presidency, the honor that goes with it, and my life. Hindi ako aatras dito. Hindi ako matatakot n'yang mga human rights," he said.
"I will not allow the country to be thrown to the dogs. I will not allow my country to be destroyed."
Duterte earlier identified three alleged top drug traffickers and five purported police drug coddlers.
Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said Duterte may soon name more "persons of interest" involved in the drug trade.
Andanar said a matrix from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) shows that at least 1.8 million people are connected to the drug menace.
A total of 106 people have died in anti-narcotics police operations between May 10 and July 3, according to figures from the Philippine National Police (PNP).
A separate tally by ABS-CBN's Investigative and Research Group places the number of drug-related fatalities at 154, or fifty percent higher, based on data culled from PNP regional websites and news reports of various agencies.
MAP, CHARTS: The death toll of the war on drugs