Duterte wants more time to finish his war on drugs
PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte has asked for a six-month extension for his war on drugs, saying there were too many people involved in the narcotics trade and he “cannot kill them all”.
Some 3000 people have been killed since Mr Duterte won May elections in a landslide on a vow to kill tens of thousands of criminals in an unprecedented blitz to rid the country of illegal drugs in six months.
“I did not realise how severe and how serious the drug menace was in this republic until I became president,” Mr Duterte, 71, said in his southern home city of Davao on September 18.
Launching his crackdown was like letting “a worm out of the can” he said, adding that he wanted “a little extension of maybe another six months” to try and finish the job.
“Even if I wanted to, I cannot kill them all because the last report would be this thick,” he said, referring to a new police list of people – including top officials – suspected of being involved in the drugs trade.
Police say they have killed 1105 drug suspects in the slightly more than two months since Mr Duterte took office.
Another 2035 have been murdered by unknown assailants, with human rights monitors saying these could be vigilantes emboldened by Mr Duterte’s repeated calls for the public to help him kill criminals.
The crackdown has drawn severe criticism from the United States, the European Union parliament and the United Nations over what they say are extrajudicial killings.
Mr Duterte has rejected the criticism, calling US President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon a “fool”, and vowing to continue his campaign which is proving hugely popular domestically and boosting his poll ratings. –