President-elect Rodrigo Duterte looks unfazed by reports that drug lords had set a P1-billion bounty to have him killed.
In his speech during the turnover of command at the Davao City Police Office on Friday, Duterte said he could even match the reward allegedly placed on his head by the drug lords.
“No questions asked, pataasan kami ng presyo [We can have a price war if they want],” Duterte said.
According to the incoming President, he will even be willing to promote on the spot any policeman who will “slaughter” anyone who would attempt to kill him.
“If they put up P100 million, I will give you P150 million, slaughter them. I will give you promotion on the spot, from PO1 [Police Officer 1] to General,” he said.
High-profile drug lords have reportedly raised as much as P1 billion in bounty for the liquidation of Duterte, the incoming Philippine National Police chief, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, and several others.
De la Rosa earlier said the drug lords, who are held at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP), the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila), had offered P10 million each for his and Duterte’s heads.
But, he added, there were no takers so the reward was raised to P50 million each.
The drug lords reportedly made the counteroffer of a bounty after Duterte offered a reward for every drug lord and pusher killed.
The President-elect had promised P5 million for every dead drug lord, P3 million for a syndicate member and P50,000 for a small-time pusher.
A wave of surrenders
More than 1,000 drug pushers, as well as drug users, surrendered to the Quezon City police also on Friday.
They were brought to Camp Karingal, headquarters of the Quezon City Police Department, for counseling.
The mass surrender is seen as a success for the QCPD’s “Oplan Katok Pakiusap” campaign launched under the leadership of Director Edgardo Tinio against illegal drugs in the city.
Officials of the QCPD said they expect more surrenders in the next few days ahead of the oath-taking of Duterte on June 30.
The incoming leader had vowed to crack down hard on drug traffickers, even seeking restoration of death penalty to eliminate the drug menace.
In San Juan City (Metro Manila), Vice Mayor-elect Janella Ejercito was tapped to head the anti-drug abuse council of the city.
Mayor Guia Gomez also on Friday said she named Janella to head the anti-drug council because the young politician, a daughter of detained Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, had promised during the campaign period that she will stop the widespread trade and use of illegal drugs in San Juan.
Gomez expressed concern over the recruitment of students by drug syndicates and small-time pushers into the illegal drug trade.
“Criminal syndicates are using these children as drug couriers and runners because minors are not criminally liable under the juvenile justice law,” Gomez noted.
The incoming Duterte administration, however, plans to lower the minimum age for criminal liability to 11 years old.
Under Republic Act 9344, or the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act of 2006, children 15 years old and below cannot be held criminally liable for the crimes they commit.
Gomez said the city government has allotted funds for the construction of a rehabilitation center to house minors who are involved in illegal drugs.