MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte pinned the blame on his own government’s functionaries over the failure to stop the illegal drug trade in his first six months in office.
In a speech in Legazpi City on Friday night, the President identified the Bureau of Customs and police generals as the ones who were impeding his administration’s war on drugs.
“Noong na-presidente ako, sabi ni [former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald Dela Rosa], ito ‘yung totoo. Paano ako maka-solve ng six months, ang ko gobyerno ko mismo,” Duterte said.
He added: “Ang kalaban ko Bureau of Customs, police generals. Lahat nandiyan sa [Ninoy Aquino International Airport]. So anong magawa ko? Sila ‘yung unang pumapatay tapos sabihin nila i-charge nila sa gobyerno.”
Duterte had repeatedly linked active and retired police officials to the drug trade, while the Customs were involved in the entry of shabu shipments, including the P6.4-billion worth of shabu in magnetic lifters that slipped past Customs watchmen in 2018.
The war on drugs was part of the campaign promise of Duterte when he ran for presidency in 2016.
He said he would resolve in three to six months the country’s drug problem but until today, it still persists.
Based on the official numbers released by the government months ago, the administration’s war on drugs has claimed at least 5,050 lives since it started on July 1, 2016./PN