Despite being hell bent on pursuing his bloody campaign against illegal drug trade, President Duterte said he will still look for other ways to address the problem in a manner that is acceptable to everybody.
He issued the statement days after he signed Memorandum Order (MO) No. 17, bringing back the Philippine National Police (PNP), and other law enforcement agencies, to the drug war to actively support the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
In his speech at the Kapampangan Food Festival at the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Convention Center in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Duterte said he is willing to look for another way to wage his drug war.
“I will walk the extra mile for one day to find it [acceptable way of addressing the drug war]. But until then, I will not allow my country to go to the dogs,” he said Thursday evening.
He also expressed determination to finish his drug war until the end of his term.
“Itong droga, [it is a] non-issue for me. It will be a policy until the dying days of my presidency,” he said.
The President also hit the international community, including the International Criminal Court (ICC), for criticizing his drug campaign without understanding the situation.
He, however, asked the public for patience and understanding as he addresses the country’s drug problem.
“Itong drugs, give me a little bit of time. I will finish it to the last man. If my country collapses under the weight of drugs, you [ICC] will not be here to help the Filipinos,” Duterte said.
“Leave us alone and we will solve the problem. We do not enjoy killing our own countrymen. It is not a good policy but we are besieged [by] something which is very terrible,” he added.
According to Duterte, he is still thinking of a way on how he should deal with the policemen who are involved in the drug trade.
“There are 9,000 policemen, I don’t know if I have to kill them, in the drug business,” he said.
To satisfy his critics, Duterte stripped the PNP of its authority over the deadly drug campaign. The PNP was criticized for its alleged involvement in the killings during the drug war, including that of teenagers.
Duterte had earlier admitted that there are still rogue cops in the PNP and revealed that he is thinking of revamping the police organization.
But after barely two months of giving sole responsibility of the drug war to the PDEA, Duterte remarked that he was inclined to bring back the PNP in fear that the drug problem in the country might worsen.
Tags: bloody campaign, drug campaign, drug problem, drug war, Duterte willing to find ‘acceptable’ way to address PH drug problem, illegal drug trade, Manila Bulletin, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency