DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte admitted he was hurt by the remarks of former President Benigno Aquino III, who said that nothing happened a year after his administration implemented the war on drug.
During his speech before government troops he visited in Marawi City Friday afternoon, Duterte admitted that he is sensitive when it comes to government forces getting killed because of the war on drugs and terrorism and defended that his strong words against his predecessor stemmed from what he described as “insulting” statements.
“Pero tinanong siya about the drug operation at ang sinabi niya, ‘wala namang nangyari, mag-iisang taon na’. Alam mo ang retort ko sa kanya, I answered back, ‘Napakagung-gong mo naman’ (He was asked about the drug operation and he said ‘nothing happened after almost year’. You know what I retorted, ‘How stupid could you be’),” Duterte told government troops of the Joint Operation Task Force Trident in Barangay Kilala.
Duterte went on saying that he has already lost a total of 81 police in the war against drugs and terrorism.
He said the war in Marawi started in the drug operation. The President previously stated that drug money fund terrorist groups.
“But you know, you must remember that what precipitated, what started the fight there was an operation against a drug personality. Itong Marawi nag-umpisa ito sa drug operation. Now, when you say “walang nangyari,” nakaka-insulto ‘yan. And I am very sensitive sa ganitong issue kasi marami na ang pulis pati sundalo ko namatay,” he said.
Duterte said that Aquino’s statement was careless and belittled his anti-drug war.
“So if you are careless, magsabi ka, “walang nangyari,” talagang mag-init ang bunganga ko. Kaya huwag ninyong, sabi ko basta-basta na lang magsalita because you don’t know the real score,” he said.
According to the Philippine National Police as of July 1 to July 26, there were 68,214 anti-drug operations conducted. These operations arrested 97,703 drug personalities. More than 1 million have surrendered while 3,451 persons tagged in drug trade were killed in operations.
Duterte also said a year after his anti-drug war the government was able to seize P18.52 billion worth of shabu.
“‘Yung collection ko sa shabu, sa one year, I got about… Ang kanyang sa — the entire 6 years niya — ah one year, they only — they’re able to get 4 billion, 83,” Duterte said.
During the Mindanao Hour press briefing held here on June 30, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director Isidro Lapeña said they have recorded a total of 3,171 who were killed in “legitimate drug operations.”
He said these were those who were armed and fought with authorities.
Lapeña said they have conducted 64,397 operations, which is 77 percent more than what was conducted by the previous administration at 36,466.
The PDEA chief also said they have arrested 86,984 drug personalities which is a 364 percent increase compared to the accomplishment of the previous administration at 18,766.
In his second State of the Nation Address on July 25, Duterte vowed that the war on drugs, which has been the subject of investigation of the US Congress, will be unrelenting. (davaotoday.com)