Millions of suspected drug users and pushers could end up dead by the time President Rodrigo Duterte ends his term in 2022 because of his resolve to wipe out the illegal drug menace in the country.
In his speech before the Filipino community in Vietnam Wednesday (Sept. 28), Duterte hailed the decline in crimes in his first few months in office while the administration’s bloody campaign against illegal drugs is underway.
He, however, said he’s just getting started.
“With this kind of problem, four million drug addicts, tingnan mo ngayon, namatay na, wala na, down ang crime. And I intend to kill more because I have to account for these four million: I need to protect this country; I will not leave the presidency in shame,” he said.
Duterte said he has no plans of stepping down from office with the prospect of his successor dealing with the same number of drug suspects he has or even more.
“I will not go out sa pagkatapos ng termino ko at mag-iwan ako nang mabigat na problema na ang addicts now or multiply to something like 10 million. Mas mabuti pa ako na lang ang magpakulong, patayin ko na lang lahat,” he said.
Latest data from the Philippine National Police show that as of Thursday (Sept. 29), 1, 276 drug personalities have been killed in encounters with law enforcement agencies while 19,907 have been arrested from July 1.
Meanwhile, the number of individuals whose under investigation has risen to 2,233 during the same period.