“We will live and die.”
This was how Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald de la Rosa described the police’s dedication in continuing the Duterte administration’s controversial war against illegal drugs despite criticisms from international organizations and opposition leaders.
“We will live and die with our war on drugs,” de la Rosa told an ANC interview late Friday as the crackdown on narcotics marked its first year along with the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte.
The bloody war against illegal drugs has claimed the lives of 3,200 suspected drug personalities in 63,926 anti-drug operations by the PNP as of June 20 this year, alongside operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the National Bureau of Investigation.
De la Rosa said the PNP would continue the operation by hunting down every drug lord, pusher and drug-making facilities.
“The President said that until there’s the last drug lord, up to the last pusher, up to the last infrastructure wherein [drug suspects have]networks of their shabu business, we will be finishing it (drug war),” said the PNP chief.
De la Rosa said he found the magnitude of the drug problem to be troubling.
“We were surprised to find out the magnitude and the extent of the drug problem in the country. So meaning, if we have not declared war on drugs, this problem could not be addressed and could not be unmasked, could not be uncovered,” he claimed.
“[The drug problem] is so very, very big, as what we observed, we were all surprised,” de la Rosa added.