MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday that his promise to solve the drug problem turned out as a "fiasco."
In a speech during the 45th anniversary celebration of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Duterte said "drugs still abound" and "corruption remains."
"Now, I would tell you that I—there was this promise which turned out to be a nightmare, a fiasco. Well, because when I was mayor, I made the promise—ang mindset ko was Davao. And I maybe, naiveté, had something to do with that also," he said.
"Sabi ko, in six months time, I will solve the problem of drugs. But that was based on the factual situation in Davao, numbers and all. But when I became President, nakita ko 'yung magnitude, the dimension of the contamination at it run into millions, at maraming namatay."
Duterte said he also considers shabu a "national security threat" and among the top problems in the country.
Duterte had promised to solve the country's drug problem within 3 to 6 months when he assumed presidency in June 2016.
He, however, later dropped this target, saying he only realized the magnitude of the drug problem when he became president.
Duterte has been criticized here and abroad for his war on drugs, wherein close to 4,000 have been killed in presumed-legitimate police operations from July 1, 2016 to January 17, 2018, according to police statistics.
Police operations also yielded some 2,577 kilos of shabu worth P13.24 billion, on top of P19.34 billion in other drugs and laboratory equipment.