MANILA (UPDATE)—President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday vowed to end the country’s drug problem in the last 3 years of his term.
“Itong droga, 3 years, uubusin ko talaga itong mga p*t*ng *n*ng ito,” the President said in a speech during a campaign sortie of the PDP-Laban party in Bacolod City.
(I will finish the drug problem in 3 years.)
“May 3 years pa ako maubos ko pa kayo, salamat sa Diyos.”
(I still have 3 years, I can go after all of you. Thank God.)
More than 5,000 people have been killed in police anti-drug operations since the President took office, authorities have said, but human rights groups say this figure is severely understated.
Duterte, who won on a promise to rid the country of illegal drugs, has shrugged off criticism — both here and abroad — of his violent anti-narcotics drive.
"Wala akong ano sa mga kriminal, ‘yung mga holdupper ganun, patayin ka diyan parang aso? Eh bagay sa iyo," he said.
"Kaya ‘yung Human Rights bahala kayo, kaniya-kaniya tayong trabaho sa mundo eh. You defend criminals, I kill criminals. Oh sige, mamili tayo diyan."
He added that the number of drug addicts in the country is now at 7 million.
Duterte has also belittled the move of the International Criminal Court to proceed with the examination of his alleged crimes, which may fall within the court’s jurisdiction.
In February, Duterte warned the public that his illegal-drugs campaign would be “harsher.”
--With a report from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News