Duterte: Next president should have same ferocity in fighting illegal drugs – GMA News Online
President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday the next president should bring the same ferocity he did in fighting illegal drugs even if this centerpiece program has left thousands dead.
"These drugs, I hope the one who would sit as next president will continue, if not have the ferocity that I did, or even a little lower than my standard," Duterte said during Monday night's Talk to the People aired Tuesday morning.
"Kasi sisirain nito ang bayan natin (This will really destroy our country), this resurgence of drug problem. It simply drives me crazy," Duterte added.
When elected president in 2016, President Duterte said he will eradicate the problem of illegal drugs and corruption in three to six months.
Since then, he has admitted that the problem is so endemic that the fight against these problems will go on under the end of his term on June 30, 2022.
The Duterte administration is already facing possible International Criminal Court (ICC) scrutiny on the government's alleged crimes against humanity in the context of the police's anti-drug operations.
The ICC probe, which was deferred in November 2021 based on the request of the Philippine government, stemmed from the complaint of the families of those killed in the drug war and human rights advocates.
The ICC initially authorized to probe drug war in September 2021 for alleged crimes against humanity or murder given that "available material indicates, to the required standard, that a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population took place pursuant to or in furtherance of a State policy, within the meaning of Article 7(1) and (2)(a) of the [Rome] Statute [that established ICC]."
Duterte, however, remains unfazed by the ICC probe.
"About the ICC, wala akong pakialam (I don't care). It does not worry me a bit. It is an idiotic entity," Duterte said.
"I just hope that somebody, even if not the president, would continue the [government] drive against drugs because it will really destroy our country. This is a serious problem and we have to protect the next generation," Duterte added.
Based on government records, over 6,000 drug suspects have been killed during the police's anti-drug operations since Duterte assumed office on June 30, 2016.
The complainants before the ICC, however, have argued that the number of victims is already as much as 30,000 if those drug suspects killed by supposed vigilante squads are to be included. — RSJ, GMA News