‘Losing battle’

April 03, 2019
Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo Duterte

NEARLY halfway through his six-year term as chief executive, President Rodrigo Duterte admitted on Tuesday that he could do nothing to control illegal drugs.

Duterte said the drug menace worsened as he cited the influx of drug shipments that were recently seized by authorities.

“Ang droga hindi ko nga makontrol. P— ina, pinapatay ko na ang mga hindot na ‘yan. Nandiyan pa rin ‘yung droga. Mas lalo tuloy tumindi,” Duterte said in a speech at the PDP-Laban campaign rally in Malabon City.

“Kaya ang tanong naman ng mga ibang opisyal, ito ba’y tagumpay? Kasi sabihin ko sa inyo hindi because worldwide ‘yan. It’s a worldwide problem ngayon ang droga pati China, Taiwan. At marami na ang tinamaan,” he added.

The President once again lamented the involvement of police officials in the illegal drug trade as indicated by a narco-cops list.

“Ilalabas ko ‘yung dokumento bukas. Iyong paano maglaro ang pulis sa droga, ‘yung mga opisyal at bakit hindi mahinto-hinto. At bakit naman ‘yung mga pulis noon naka-assign sa anti-drugs hanggang ngayon sa anti-drugs pa rin. Kaya pinaglalaruan ang Pilipino,” Duterte said.

He also denied ordering a hit for which he paid P5 million.

“Iniimbestigahan ngayon ng Congress. Sabi ko, ‘Eh, ‘di sige kay pati ako idinawit na may inutusan daw ako ng 5 million para patayin ‘yung... P— ina bakit ako magbayad ng 5 million? Trabaho ninyo ‘yan. Nabuang,” Duterte added.

Thousands of killings, mostly those from poor communities, have been blamed on Duterte’s war on drugs.

Duterte earlier admitted that authorities were on the verge of giving up the fight because the drug situation in the country had worsened.

Reacting to the President’s remarks, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Oscar Albayalde said last week that Duterte may have only expressed frustration over recent massive drug hauls in spite of the intensified anti-illegal drug campaign.

Albayalde said law enforcement in the Philippines needs modernization in order to increase its capabilities and “keep up” with the innovations of drug syndicates.

But the PNP chief insisted that in spite of the drug problem, peace and order in the country had continuously been improving under the Duterte administration.