PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said that he was only after preserving the lives of law-abiding citizens and would kill those who would prevent him from fulfilling his mandate.
“I have talked to priests, they asked me, how am I supposed to protect the Filipino people when there are a lot of them dying? I said, I have to preserve the Filipino. I did not say I will preserve all the Filipinos, including those who want to destroy the Filipino young and the Filipino law-abiding citizens,” Duterte said in a speech during the 116th commemoration of the Balangiga, Eastern Samar encounter between Filipino and American soldiers.
“My orders to the military and police are very, very clear. Whether you are a terrorist or a drug lord, talagang ipapapatay kita (I will really have you killed),” Duterte said.
The President then pinned the blame on the Bamboo Triad, a drug syndicate which, he claimed, has Chinese and Filipinos as members cooking illegal drugs that were being shipped to the Philippines.
The syndicate, Duterte said, has penetrated 40 percent of the 42,000 villages (barangay) in the country and 9,000 members of the police force nationwide.
“I preserve the people, [and that is]for the law-abiding, God-fearing citizens. There are plenty of them. How can I preserve if I allow these idiots to flood the country with drugs?” Duterte said.
“I have to destroy the organized crime and I have to destroy people and materials. I don’t have a choice there,” Duterte added.
Human rights groups here and abroad blamed the Duterte administration’s war on drugs for the 13,000 victims of alleged extrajudicial killings over the past year.