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Drug problem in PH has worsened, Duterte admits

04 April 2019

President Rodrigo R. Duterte


After almost three years into his six-year term, President Duterte admitted that the drug situation in the country has turned worse and that law enforcers are close to giving up the fight.

Duterte had promised during the 2016 campaign for the presidency that he would end the drug problem within three to six months, then later said he would need one year, and further extended his self-imposed deadline to six years.

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But in a campaign rally for his senatorial candidates last Sunday in Cagayan de Oro City, Duterte said: “Things have worsened. My policemen are at the brink of surrendering.” He said he would have nothing to be proud of if the worsening drug problem is not solved at the end of his term in 2022.

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“In the end, we will be like Mexico. We will be controlled by drug cartels. The Sinaloa has already entered the country and that is why drugs are being thrown in the Pacific. The same is happening in the West,” he said.

Earlier this month, Duterte warned that the remaining three years in his term would be the most dangerous for drug dealers.

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He lamented that policemen are being killed in the drug war. “I lost two of my policemen the other day. And we are suffering losses in the drug war. That is why I said that if we will not be able to achieve that, my Presidency would be a failure. I won’t have anything that I’ll be proud of,” he told his audience.

The President said the government should do everything to kill all drug suspects.

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“If these things do not end, we will achieve nothing. And so we have to finish this. We have no other choice. We will really have to kill them all. I have no other choice,” he said.

A joint operation of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Philippine National Police (PNP) recently intercepted at least P2.8 billion worth of illegal drugs in a house in Alabang, Muntinlupa City and another P1.8 billion worth of shabu at a port in Manila that were placed inside tea and biscuit packages.

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Duterte said he was not prepared for the enormity of the drug problem in the country, given the volume of illegal drugs that gets in as well as those involved in it.

PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said Duterte’s statement that the country’s drug problem has worsened was prompted by frustration. “I cannot read the mind of the President but personally, it’s an emotional frustration,” Albayalde said.  He added that it could have been brought about by reports of large volumes of illegal drugs smuggled into the country in the past days.

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