Duterte urges police, military to continue war vs drugs

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 06 2022 11:58 PM

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the 54th Cabinet meeting at the Malacañan Palace on May 30, 2022. Alberto Alcain, Presidential Photo/file
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the 54th Cabinet meeting at the Malacañan Palace on May 30, 2022. Alberto Alcain, Presidential Photo/file

MANILA - Outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte has urged the military and the police to continue the fight against illegal drugs in the country.

Duterte, whose infamous war on drugs is the subject of a suspended inquiry by the International Criminal Court for possible crimes against humanity, said he is worried about the persistence of the illegal drug trade despite his administration's crackdown.

"That is what worries me, kasi mukhang, even despite of my warning, lalo pang lumalaki tuloy ang naembargo na nakuha ng pulis...Despite of my dire warnings, ang droga lumalaro laro pa rin. Paano 'to?" he said in a public briefing aired late Monday.

(This is what worries me, because it seem like despite of my warning, the amount confiscated by the police increases...Despite of my dire warnings, illegal drugs still exist. What can we do?)

"'Yun ang worry ko. As an outgoing president, I'm scared because of the penchant really of people to do drugs because of the money," Duterte added.

(That is my worry. As an outgoing president, I'm scared because of the penchant really of people to do drugs because of the money.)

Duterte was referring to the suspected shabu worth at least P12 billion seized by authorities in March.

The several blocks of alleged high-value shabu were recovered in sealed sacks with Chinese markings, while 10 men inside the vans were arrested.

The authorities said 600 Chinese teabags were used to contain the contraband, which weighed 1.5 metric tons in total.

According to Duterte, it is good that the military and the police are still working against illegal drugs, despite rogue personnel within their ranks.

"Mabuti na lang that our institutions are there, really. I still trust the police. Mayroong mga scalawags, mayroon din namang nasa droga, pero few of them. And yet the police have to police its own ranks," he said.

(It's good that our institutions are there. I still trust the police. There are scalawags who are involved in illegal drugs, but there are only a few of them. And yet the police have to police its own ranks.)

"I would like to encourage the PNP to remember their country, irrespective of kaming mga leaders, kung sino, dumadaan lang naman kami. We are just a passing scene sa ating national, sa history natin," Duterte added.

(I would like to encourage the PNP to remember their country, irrespective of us leaders, whoever among us, we just pass by. We are just a passing scene in our history.)

Duterte also advised the police and the military to continue serving the country.

"Huwag na sana ninyong bitawan 'yung fervor ninyo sa inyong puso, despite or in spite kung sino ang ano, paalis na ako. Try to maintain your momentum against the drug problem. You have to do that because wala nang, including the military, wala na kasing tutulong sa atin niyan. Maraming Filipino ang masisira talaga," he said.

(I hope you do not let go of the fervor you have in your hearts, in spite of the leader. I will go soon. Try to maintain your momentum against the drug problem. You have to do that because, including the military, nobody else will help us. Many Filipinos will be in trouble.)

"Kayong mga pulis, kung talagang mahal ninyo ang bayan, stay away from drugs, the temptation of money. Very corrosive to the values of the human being, the lure of money. Iwasan ninyo 'yan at magpakatotoo kayo at mahalin ninyo ang bayan," Duterte adde. 

(The police, if you really love the country, stay away from drugs, the temptation of money. Very corrosive to the values of the human being, the lure of money. Stay away from it and stay true to your country.)

Duterte likewise expressed hope that the incoming administration of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will continue the war on drugs.

"I trust that the next administration will also do its very best to confront itong drugs. Kasi 'pag hindi, magpatayan tayo ulit. Ganoon 'yan," he said.

(I trust that the next administration will also do its very best to confront drugs. Because if not, there will be more deaths. That's how it is.)

Duterte earlier acknowledged it could be "hubris" that motivated him to promise to end in three to six months the problem of illegal narcotics in the country.

He has said he was wrong to have underestimated the country’s problem with illegal drugs, alleging he was then unaware of the involvement of some members of the Philippine National Police's top leadership in the narcotics trade.

Marcos Jr. earlier said he was "certainly open" to the idea of tapping Duterte as a "drug czar". 

Although there is no legal impediment should Duterte join Marcos Jr.'s Cabinet, Duterte, who steps down on June 30, previously said he was "looking forward" to retirement from public office. 

The Philippine government had repeatedly maintained that the ICC has no jurisdiction over the President and the war on drugs because the country is no longer part of the ICC.

Rights groups who have lobbied for ICC to investigate the killings in the country have argued that the thousands killed under the war on drugs are more than enough to warrant an international probe — more than 6,000 based on official figures but more than 30,000 according to estimates of rights groups.

-- With a report from Mike Navallo and Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

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