President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, February 20, vowed that he will not allow anyone to destroy the Philippines with illegal drugs.
“I will not allow my country to be destroyed by drugs. I will not allow my country to end up a failed state because of drugs,” he said in a speech in Malacañang.
Duterte warned that his anti-drug campaign would be “harsher in the days to come.”
“And I am declaring war. I am not declaring a punitive police action. It cannot help and it would not help. So early on I decided but I think I’d be more — well I said harsher in the days to come,” he said.
The President also acknowledged that nobody could solve the drug problem in due time. Still, he promised to end the problem during his term.
“I’m not speculating on my competence or ability. Far from it, actually. Nobody can solve it in due time. Pero gusto kong tapusin ko talaga ‘to sa panahon ko. (But I really want to finish this during my term),” he said.
“I have the three years left, and I’m putting notice to everybody and the same sloganeering. Maybe it leaves a bad taste in the mouth every time I say it, but I have to say it. At least you are forewarned,” he added.
With this, Duterte stated that he is declaring war and threatened to kill anyone who stands in the way. He also threatened to kill those behind the smuggling of illegal drugs into the Philippines.
“And also for those guys who keep on with their business of importing — be they Mexicans or Chinese or Filipino. If you continue to feed our children with drugs, there’s no way that… talagang maaabutan ko kayo at papatayin ko kayo. (I will get to you and I will kill you),” he said.
Since assuming office on June 30, 2016, Duterte has been pushing for permanently stopping the proliferation of illegal drugs in the Philippines.