MANILA — Former President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night rejected calls for him to become a drug czar under the Marcos administration, saying he wants to give way for the current leadership to address the country's drug problem.
Senators Ronald Dela Rosa and Christopher "Bong" Go — close allies of the former Chief Executive — earlier proposed the idea so drug syndicates could be reduced.
For his part, Police Chief Benjamin Acorda, Jr. during a Senate committee hearing last week said he would support the move.
But Duterte, who is facing a possible probe before the International Criminal Court over his drug war killings, said he was not considering it.
"Mukhang hindi na rin tama because there is a President duly elected and it is his duty to enforce the law and solve crimes," Duterte told Pastor Apollo Quiboloy in his TV program.
"Let us give Marcos the greatest elbow room leeway to do his job in just one year. In fairness sa mga pulis, 'yan ang problema... It's a matter of leadership," he added.
Marcos, when he was still president-elect last year, said he was open to the idea of having his predecessor lead the country's drug fight.
Duterte, he said, requested him to continue his drug war even if it becomes modified.
Government data showed that 6,181 people were killed in Duterte's war on drugs but human rights groups have questioned the figure, claiming that up to 30,000 may have been killed, including bystanders and innocent civilians.