Duterte’s new one year deadline for war on drugs unbelievable

President Duterte administers the oath of office of the newly-appointed government officials during a ceremony in Malacañang, December 6. Malacanang photo by King Rodriguez.

President Duterte doesn’t have to give himself another deadline in his war against illegal drugs.

He has flip-flopped so many times on his war on drugs that nobody takes his public declarations seriously anymore.

In a speech Dec. 6 during the oath taking of his latest batch of appointees in Malacañang, Duterte again talked about his obsession - illegal drugs - saying that he doesn’t care about criticisms from human rights advocates on extra-juidical killings.

“Itong sa droga, wala itong katapusan. It’s not… it’s a non-issue to me and I will not answer it anymore except to say that my oath of office demands that I protect the Filipino people and that the Republic of the Philippines is safe. That is the long and short of it. Wala na akong istorya pa na extra-judicial killing. It will happen if it will happen. It cannot happen, if it cannot happen. Wala akong pakialam basta sabi ko sa droga, I hope to finish the problem maybe give me just another year.”

He also talked about the return of the Philippine National Police to the anti-drugs campaign even if the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency continues to be the lead agency.

What happens then if Duterte fails to end the drug war by Dec. 31, 2018?

Less than two weeks earlier, Duterte told the First Scout Ranger Regiment in San Miguel, Bulacan that “If I cannot control drugs, then maybe it is time for me to think about resignation.”

“‘Pag hindi ko kaya ito, bababa talaga ako. Sabihin ko sa inyo. O, why should I be there? Only for the noise? I do not need it. I have enough accolades and praises all my life... Kaya kung hindi ko ito kaya, aalis ako,” he said.

Duterte does not have a good track record in fulfilling his public declarations. No one is dumb enough to believe he will resign if he can’t solve the problem of illegal drugs by the end of 2018.

It should be recalled that during the campaign he promised to eliminate the drug problem in six months. Sixteen million believed him. Eighteen months have passed and he still talks about four million drug addicts in the country.

In his speech in Singapore last year, he said that that his war against illegal drugs will last until the end of his term which will be on June 30, 2022.

“If you are fighting drug addicts and criminals, I can go as many as I want and for as long as there are drug pushers in the streets in my country, for as long as there are drug lords, this campaign will go on until the last day of my term, and until all of them are killed, may I emphasize on that," he said.

He added: “I would not have any second thoughts about cutting your head off. You destroy my country. Four million drug addicts. You have already destroyed—We’re 100 million [people]. You have already destroyed so many. Should I allow it to continue? And be like the Latin American states?”

Duterte has caught the attention of the world for his bloody anti-drugs war. The figures vary on the number of those killed related to illegal drugs. His critics say 7,000. Vice President Leni Robredo even used 8,000 in an interview with a news agency.

The government will only acknowledge 4,084 drug-related deaths: 1,475 drug-related killings outside police operations and 2,609 deaths under Oplan Double Barrel as of March this year.

We imagine the number has increased.

If Duterte completes his six-year term, he still has 1,642 days to continue his war on drugs. Under his “Kill, Kill” policy, he will have to kill 2, 436 every day to eliminate those four million drug addicts.

If he fasttracks the operation, that would mean killing 10,958 every day to erase those four million addicts from the face of the earth within one year.



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