Duterte to take drugs war down to barangay level

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte is taking the war against drugs right down to the smallest government unit: the barangay.

"The reason why there is flooding and proliferation of drugs is because of the inutility of the barangay captains. It starts from there. Sila yung nakakakilala ng mga tao," he said in a press conference on Monday.

Duterte, who ran successfully on a campaign to curb criminality and drugs in 3 to 6 months, said he wants armed militiamen instead of just regular barangay tanods to go after these drug offenders.

He said he wants people with some experience with gun-handling and law enforcement—including those who have completed Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) or retired soldiers—to form Special Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary (SCAA).

"They will be under the supervision of the barangay captain, para hindi matakot; but administratively, they have to report to the precinct commander or the station commander of the area where they are assigned," he explained.

Duterte stressed that it is necessary for the enforcers to carry guns to face drug lords and pushers who also carry firearms.

The drug addicts, he added, suffer from a sensation akin to schizophrenia, where they imagine a threat pursuing them and are pushed to extreme acts, such as killing their own family.

"D'yan ako galit sa drugs because during our time, wala naman nire-rape na bata. It’s a very cruel world, yung drugs. Galit ako sa mga drug lords na hindi nga naman sila talaga adik," he said.

These drug lords, he added, may not be addicts themselves but they "seek out to convert people from one responsible citizen, or a young man studying or a young woman, and then they destroy their lives."

"Those who destroy the lives of our children will be destroyed. Those who will kill my country will be killed. Simple as that—no middle ground, no apologies, no excuses," he stated.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Region 6 earlier said the Duterte camp had already asked them to submit a list of drug personalities in Western Visayas.

Duterte camp asks PDEA to submit drug personalities list