'Anong gawin ko rito? Patayin ko lahat?'
MANILA - President Duterte revealed Tuesday that government agencies have completed the validation of his newest list of individuals with alleged drug links.
"There are about a thousand policemen involved in drugs. There are about a thousand barangay captains already in the business of shabu. There are about a few mayors and national officials," Duterte said of those named in the list.
The President also admitted that the drug menace is worse than his initial projections.
He reiterated that the government has been "opened to narco-politics" with the election of Senator Leila de Lima, whom he has repeatedly accused of using drug money to fund her 2016 senatorial campaign.
The operation of floating shabu laboratories also remains rampant in international waters off the coast of Regions 1, 2 and 3, he said.
Duterte added that drug rehabilitation centers have recently been constructed with the help of China, but these are still not enough to accommodate millions of drug users in need of treatment.
The rough-on-crime leader said he will call for a consensus of top officials and lawmakers to deliberate on how to proceed with his anti-drug war.
"I will call for a consensus dito sa itaas -- lahat na mga senators, congressmen - kasi napakabigat po ng problema na ito at kung ako lang, sasabihin ko sa inyo, 'di ko kaya," he said. "Anong gawin ko rito? Patayin ko lahat? It's about a 10,000 network spread all over the Philippines."
(I will call for a consensus at the top level -- all senators, congressmen, because the problem is very grave and if I were to face it alone, I'll tell you, I can't. What will I do with them, kill them all? It's about a 10,000 network spread all over the Philippines.)
Duterte’s first drug list in July named five top police officials allegedly involved in the protection of drug rings. [ first drug list -- https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/07/05/16/duterte-links-5-top-cops-to-drug-trade ]
In August, the President bared another list of 159 alleged drug coddlers from law enforcement agencies, other executive offices, and the judiciary.
But last September 27, Duterte apologized over the inclusion of several personalities in his controversial drug matrix, and cleared some of those he earlier tagged as officials linked to the drug trade.
Monitoring by ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group shows that 2,156 people have been killed in police operations and vigilante attacks in Duterte's war on drugs, between May 10 and October 21, 2016.
The United Nations, the United States, and the European Union have urged the Duterte administration to put a stop to the extra-judicial bloodbath.