Duterte wants more time to fin­ish his war on drugs

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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. –

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