Duterte wants 6-month extension on war vs. drugs, crime

Sep. 19, 2016

President Rodrigo Duterte says he wants to extend his campaign against drugs for six more months saying the problem is severe and serious. (davaotoday.com file photo by Paolo C. Rizal)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines —President Rodrigo Duterte  on Sunday, September 18, asked for another six months  extension to end crime and illegal drugs.

“That self-imposed time of three to six months, well, I did not realize how severe and how serious the problem of drug menace in this Republic until I became President,” Duterte told the media here during the  presentation of freed Norwegian national Kjartan Sekkingstad.

“Just give me a little extension of maybe another six months. I didn’t have any idea that there were hundreds of thousands of people already in the drug business. And what makes it worst is that they are operated now by people in government, especially those in elected positions. So it would be government versus government,” Duterte said.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said that 1,140 drug personalities were killed nationwide from July 1 to September 18 this year. Meanwhile, the PNP said there are 1,391 cases of suspected drug pushers and users killed by unidentified assailants which are “under investigation”.

The PNP also reported that 17,319 drug personalities were arrested in 18,832 police operations over the same period following the agency’s Oplan Double Barrel which targets both drug pushers.

But according to the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, a report from the PNP sent to the PCIJ said that from  July 1 to September 8, 2016 there are a total of 1,445 persons killed in police operations; 15,762 arrested (6,948 alleged drug users and 8,814 alleged drug pushers); and 704,074 who “surrendered” (652,309 alleged drug users and 51,765 alleged drug pushers).

On Sunday, Duterte announced that a final list will be released sooner after a thorough revalidation. The list, which is about three-inches thick, contains the names of drug personalities including public officials.

“Even if I want it to, I cannot kill them all because the last report would be this thick,” he said.

The President said that the country was beset with the problems of drugs, crimes and terrorism.

“We are [rotting] with so many problems—kidnapping in the south, terrorism drugs, which is really pulling us down and I can say we would need time to put things in order. That’s how bad things are right now,” Duterte said. (davaotoday.com)

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