Tougher, bloodier drug war vowed

February 25, 2019

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has warned that his last three years in office will be the “most dangerous” time for people involved in the illegal drug trade.

“Basta nasa droga ka I will make it very, very dangerous for you to live. Danger talaga,” Duterte said in his speech on Sunday at the PDP-Laban rally in Cebu City.

Duterte reaffirmed his pledge to continue his administration’s war on drugs until his term ends in 2022. 

“Consider my term, the last three years, as the most dangerous years for people who are into drugs either pusher, trafficker, or drug lord,” Duterte said.

Duterte had called for a “harsher” approach in the crackdown on illegal drugs to prevent the country from becoming a “failed state.”

Malacañang, however, said the President will not declare martial law to aid his war on drugs.

Roundly condemned by local and international human rights groups due to its alleged heavy-handed approach, the war on drugs has killed more than 5,000 drug suspects, based on government data, since Duterte took office in 2016.

Duterte is facing two complaints in connection with the drug war before the International Criminal Court, which opened in February last year a preliminary examination to determine whether it has jurisdiction over the matter and if a full-blown investigation would serve the interests of justice and of the victims.

The President however again clarified that authorities can only use deadly force if their lives are in danger when drug suspects resist arrest.