Duterte: Cebu has highest drug rate

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2017 04:00 AM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said the drug problem in the Philippines has reached epidemic proportions, with Cebu having the highest drug rate in the country.

Speaking before more than 6,000 councilors at the Philippine Councilors' League 10th National Congress at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, Duterte claimed that the drug epidemic has now affected "4 million Filipinos."

"Ngayon, ‘yung iba diyan 40 percent of the total barangay captains of the entire Philippines, may tama sa shabu, about 6,000 policemen," Duterte said.

"Cebu has the highest rate of --- hindi nila alam ‘to, for the first time sinasabi ko. Mag-abot siguro ng… Sabi ng nandiyan sa loob… But I think it’s about 60, 70. Mahirap tanggalin ang pera," the president added.

Duterte expressed fears that the criminal justice system is lenient enough to allow drug offenders to go scot-free on the basis of a claim of "insanity."

"Itong shabu ngayon… Look at the danger sa shabu, kung magkalat ito, may marunong na abugado. He come… He does it with forensics plus the testimony. 'Doctor, do you think that at that time he was aware that he was committing a crime?'

"Sabihin ng doctor at that time when a person is bangag, he does not know whether it is right or wrong. So acquitted lahat ‘yan. Think about that."

(This shabu, look at the danger of shabu if it proliferates. A good lawyer can have a drug user acquitted for crimes he committed. He e come… He does it with forensics plus the testimony. 'Doctor, do you think that at that time he was aware that he was committing a crime?' The doctor will say that at that time when a person is drugged, he does not know whether it is right or wrong. So, acquitted. Think about that.)

He reiterated his earlier position that he is willing to defend Philippine National Police officers in the war on drugs.

"Well, sabi ko ako I am ready to go to prison for the right accusation and the right penalty. Walang problema ‘yan. I gave the orders: Go out and hunt for them. Arrest them if it’s still possible. But if they resist violently, placing your life in danger, shoot and shoot to kill. Inuulit-ulit ko na ‘yan."

(Well, I said I am ready to go prison for the right accusation and the right penalty. I got no problems with that. I gave the orders: Go out and hunt for them. Arrest them if it’s still possible. But if they resist violently, placing your life in danger, shoot and shoot to kill. I have said that many times.)

"I do not demean life but I have to think of the higher interest. And my term as President begins and ends with public interest only, nothing else," he said.

He also issued a challenge:

"So, I will now demand, bitawan ninyo ‘yang droga at tomorrow wala na talagang patay. I will see to it na wala ng patay, ni isa."

(So, I will demand now. Stop drugs and tomorrow there will be no killings. I will see to it that nobody will get killed.)