‘I have to strike fear’ to fight drug prob­lem: Duterte

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

IT’S been about 100 days into the pres­i­dency of Ro­drigo Duterte.

Since he took power, the Philip­pine pres­i­dent has over­seen the killing of more than 3 500 peo­ple in his war on drugs, of­fended world lead­ers and strained re­la­tions with the US.

In an ex­clu­sive first in­ter­view since he was sworn in, AFP talks to Duterte about his con­tro­ver­sial war on drugs and for­eign pol­icy — in­clud­ing de­te­ri­o­rat­ing re­la­tions with the United States and po­ten­tially warm­ing re­la­tions with China.

“We have three mil­lion drug ad­dicts, and it’s grow­ing. So if we do not in­ter­dict this prob­lem, the next gen­er­a­tion will be hav­ing a se­ri­ous prob­lem ... You de­stroy my coun­try, I’ll kill you. And it’s a le­git­i­mate thing. If you de­stroy our young chil­dren, I will kill you. That is a very cor­rect state­ment. There is noth­ing wrong in try­ing to pre­serve the in­ter­est of the next gen­er­a­tion.”

But Duterte ad­mits that chil­dren and in­no­cent peo­ple have also been killed in the bloody crack­down, and prom­ises to in­ves­ti­gate these ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings, but he also calls them “col­lat­eral dam­age”.

When asked about the con­tested South China Sea, Duterte says:

“We will not give up any­thing there; it’s an en­ti­tle­ment . . . You can only ne­go­ti­ate to pre­vent a war . . . They in­vited me for talks, and I will go.” — AFP

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