Duterte hopes successor won’t neglect drug issue

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday, November 30, said he is hoping his successor will not forget about the country’s drug problem, which he described as the “everyday fight of Filipinos.”

“Two more years I can get out. Maybe we can look at this drug problem,” he said during the 156th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio in Caloocan.

“I just hope that my successor — perhaps he does not want a really strong reaction, maybe you can temper it a little — but he should not forget about drugs. Drugs [are] destroying our country,” he added.

According to Duterte, people are being lured by drug lords to use narcotics every day.

“The problem is there are plenty of them every day recruiting, because those affected by drugs will look for a victim to support his habit… Maybe his own wife or his children will contaminate him to support his own. When the monkey rides on the back, then he has to have the fix,” he said.

“We are being punished. We are being imposed and beaten by drugs and it’s not our fault. Drug lords and then the young and all… It is an everyday occurrence and it is an everyday fight for the Filipino,” he added.

More than 6,000 drug suspects have lost their lives since Duterte waged his war against illegal drugs in 2016, drawing concern and criticism from human rights advocates who claim that the campaign is endorsing extrajudicial killings and other abuses.

Last year, communications seeking Duterte’s indictment for alleged extrajudicial killings have been filed before the International Criminal Court (ICC), the world’s permanent war crimes court tackling cases that local tribunals could not handle.

Duterte, for his part, said that the ICC cannot prove that he was behind the killings.

“You know, we have repudiated the International Criminal Court. And I said you cannot prosecute me for a thousand years,” he said Saturday.

“There’s no such crime as extrajudicial killing. They will individually count the dead and charge it to you. Let’s see,” he added.

Duterte also said he was ready to debate with members of the ICC, hoping that he will be able to “show them how stupid they are.”

“Do not be afraid of those cases. Mas bright ako sa kanila (I am brighter than them),” he said. 

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