MANILA — Partido Lakas ng Masa presidential aspirant Leody De Guzman slammed President Rodrigo Duterte for not apologizing to victims of the administration's drug war.
"Imbes na magpakumbaba sa takipsilim ng kanyang miserableng termino, hindi siya humihingi ng kapatawaran sa libo-libong pinatay ng kanyang kontra-mahirap na gyera sa droga at sa bilyon-bilyong pisong patuloy na nawawala sa katiwalian taon-taon," de Guzman said on Wednesday.
(Instead of humbling himself as his miserable term draws to a close, he does not apologize for the thousands killed by his anti-poor war on drugs and for the billions of pesos that continue to be lost to corruption every year.)
Duterte earlier said that he will never apologize for the deaths of suspected drug users and dealers during his war on drugs that has alarmed rights groups.
More than 6,200 drug suspects have died in anti-narcotics sting operations since Duterte took office in June 2016 until November 2021, government data showed.
Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in September approved a formal investigation into Duterte's war on drugs. The ICC suspended the probe in November following a request by the Philippines, which cited its own investigations.
Seeking to replace Duterte in the 2022 polls, De Guzman said that Duterte will never admit the mistakes of his administration.
"Ang mga isyu ng korapsyon at droga ang nagluklok kay Duterte sa pagkapangulo. Hindi niya ito bibitiwan kahit maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw na pumalpak siyang puksain ang dalawang salot na ito," De Guzman said in a statement.
(Issues of corruption and drugs made Duterte president. He would not let go of these even though it is very clear he failed to eradicate these two problems.)
He said the people will inherit what he says are the worsening conditions of the drug problem and corruption under Duterte's watch.
"Kumukupas man ang kanyang popularidad, gagamitin ang mga isyung ito para hindi maging "lame duck". Hindi pa para panatilihin ang kanyang tigasing imahe kundi para may pang lyabe sa mga kandidatong hinahabol ang kanyang endorsement at maging sa susunod na administrasyon."
(As his popularity fades, these issues will be used to not be a “lame duck”, not to maintain his tough image, but so he can control candidates who are seeking his endorsement and even the next administration.)
Duterte has yet to endorse a presidential bet for the 2022 elections.
He won the presidency by a wide margin in 2016 on a platform of anti-corruption and law and order.
—with reports from Reuters
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