MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday lashed out against the perpetrators of the illegal drug trade anew, expressing his willingness to face responsibility for his bloody war against illegal drugs.
Duterte, in his weekly public address, quoted the Dangerous Drugs Board as saying 2 out of 100 Filipinos aged 10 to 69 are drug users. This is around 1.6 million, which he said is less than the around 4 million drug users during now Senator Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa's time as police chief.
"We are still in the thick of the fight against shabu," Duterte said.
He also advised parents to always supervise their children to prevent them from going astray and start using illegal drugs.
"Parents should have also a shared responsibility. Dapat kayo din ang masisi nito. Kung 'yung anak ninyo pupunta na doon sa kanta ni Freddie Aguilar, Anak. 'Yan 'yun eh, pinabayaan ninyo. Check on your children. Always. Supervise, check. Kasi diyan ninyo maaalagaan ang kapakanan ng anak ninyo," Duterte said.
(Parents should have also a shared responsibility. You should also take the blame if your children go astray, like in Freddie Aguilar's song, Anak. That's it, you neglected them. Check on your children. Always. Supervise, check. Because that is how you can ensure the welfare of your children.)
Duterte, likewise, reiterated his stand against illegal drugs, adding that he is willing to face the music for the deaths caused by the execution of the war on drugs.
"You can hold me responsible for anything, any death that has occurred in the execution of the drug war. Pero 'wag ninyo ako bintangan diyan sa patayan na hindi mo alam kung sinong pumatay," he said, referring to the spate of killings attributed to the war on drugs.
(You can hold me responsible for anything, any death that has occurred in the execution of the drug war. But don't blame me for the deaths where we don't know who killed them.)
According to Duterte, the police file a report if they killed a drug suspect during an operation.
"Ang pulis, kapag nakapatay 'yan, mag-report 'yan. Diyan kunin ninyo ang report, pag-aralan ninyo, bago kayo magdaldal o bago kayo magdemanda," he said.
(A policeman, if he killed a suspect, he will file a report. Get the report, study it before you talk and file a case.)
He said those who use drugs also destroy humanity.
"And what are they doing? Are they not killing humanity also? At 1.6 million destroyed lives, who is going to answer for it?" he added.
Earlier this month, Duterte ordered all law enforcement agencies to destroy recovered illegal drugs like shabu (methamphetamine) to be destroyed by next week to prevent recycling and reselling.
Ending the drug scourge in the country has been Duterte's top priority, but critics say numerous human rights violations were being committed in the government’s war on drugs.
Nationwide, thousands of drug personalities have been killed in anti-narcotics operations since Duterte became president in June 2016.