By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte is elated that US President Donald Trump wants to follow his controversial campaign against the illegal drug trade.
The President said Trump was right when he commented that the Philippines has no drug problem since those involved are killed.
“Was it yesterday or the other day? Tignan mo ‘yung front page ng either Bulletin or ‘yung Philippine Star. ‘Trump: we would like to follow Duterte because they have no problem in the Philippines, he just kills them,’” Duterte said with a grin during a police shoot fest in Davao City.
“Tama ka talaga Trump. Bilib ako sa iyo. Nagsasabi ka ng totoo (You are right, Trump. I’m impressed with you. You are telling the truth),” Duterte added.
President Duterte admitted that he prefers drug suspects to put up a fight so they could be neutralized by arresting lawmen.
“Bakit kung lumaban ka, hindi kita patayin? Hay naku, yan nga ang gusto ko. Mas gusto ko lumaban ka (If you fight back, I won’t kill you? That’s what I actually like. I prefer that you fight back),” he added.
PNP elated, too
The Philippine National Police (PNP) also echoed the elation expressed by President Duterte.
“This is a welcome news for us. Kami naman ay natutuwa dahil siyempre na re-recognize ng US government ‘yung effort ng ating pamahalaan sa bawal na droga (We are happy because the US government is recognizing the effort of our government [to address] the illegal drugs [problem],” said PNP spokesperson, Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao.
“This should inspire our police officers to do more without violating any human rights so that we can really address the problem on illegal drugs,” Bulalacaosaid.
Apparently inspired by Duterte’s anti-drug campaign, Trump reportedly wants the death penalty for drug dealers, believing they are allegedly as bad as serial killers. The US leader admitted though that such a law would be impossible to pass but would supposedly love to have a law that executes dealers in the US.
Trump was reportedly quoted as saying “You know the Chinese and Filipinos don’t have a drug problem. They just kill them.”
US version of ‘Tokhang’
Duterte, meantime, said the United States has carried out its own “Tokhang” campaign by conducting anti-drug operations to arrest suspected dealers.
“They were able to capture a website tapos lahat ng transactions sa droga, inagaw nila (They seized all drug transactions).
“Dinetain nila incommunicado ‘yungmga drug people (They detained the drug people and held them incommunicado) and they operated it. So nalaman nila lahat, lahat tinotokhang,” he said.
Duterte, however, lamented the double standard on how rights groups treat the anti-drug efforts in the country and in the United States.
He said when the US agents conducted such an anti-drug operations, nobody complained about any rights abuses. But when the Philippine National Police conducted the “Tokhang” campaign, he said the cops have been criticized for alleged violation of human rights.
Duterte’s war against illegal drugs was the same campaign promise which put him into the helm of the presidency in 2016.
More than 100,000 drug personalities have been arrested while over 4,000 have died in the war on drugs, according to the PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. Further, over 2,000 drug-related deaths or those killed by unidentified suspects were also recorded by authorities and have already been investigated.
However, human rights organizations said that the number of drug suspects killed in the government’s war on drugs already reached 12,000. (With a report from Martin A. Sadongdong)