By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte said that there is no need for him to declare martial law to advance his all-out war against illegal drugs.
This as Duterte reiterated his vow to solve the country’s illegal drug problem within his six-year term, even if, he said, “it means putting his life at stake.”
Duterte, in his speech at the 56th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Constitution Association at the Manila Hotel, said all he needs to do is enforce the law.
“No need for a martial law in this game of drugs. Pero basta kapag nahuli kita isang tonelada [ng droga]… ‘wag mo akong [subukan] (But if I catch you with a ton of illegal drugs–don’t even try me),” Duterte said Tuesday night.
“All I [will] do is that I will enforce the law. If I have enemies numbering 1,000, then I will prepare my police and army for 1,000,” he added.
“I’ve told you before in my Presidency: I’m staking my honor, my life and the Presidency itself, period. Wala nang istorya tayo diyan (There’s nothing else more to that, anymore),” he continued.
The President reiterated that drug personalities should not attempt to destroy the country and its youth or face the consequences.
“Either we follow the civilized way or we follow the brutalized methods — Just do not destroy my country. Do not destroy our young people because they are our valued assets,” Duterte said.
No fabrication in drug war data
Duterte said that the government is not inventing the number of casualties in the administration’s drug war to deceive the public.
The President addressed his local and international critics’ claims that he has been ordering the authorities to kill criminals.
“Now, there are some countries which are insulting us to open our records to them, everything. Who are you to do that to my country?” Duterte asked.
Pew study result welcomed
Duterte welcomed the result of the Pew Research Center Survey which showed that majority of Filipinos support the all-out drug war.
The American think tank revealed Thursday that based on its study, 86 percent of Filipinos support Duterte while 78 percent support his anti-illegal drugs campaign.
Duterte welcomed the survey result, saying people are now realizing the gravity of the drug problem despite the negative image being painted by his critics.
“And to think that what is in their mind is what is being harped on by the opposition. And by these foreign publications,” Duterte said.
“So why do I have an 86 percent acceptance?” he added. “I want to defend the children. That is our covenant. The six million, those of us who follow democracy. The voice of the people is the voice of God.”