Drug-free coun­try in 2022 Duterte’s gift to Filipinos

Manila Bulletin - - National News - By GENALYN D. KABILING

Adrug-free com­mu­nity will be Pres­i­dent Duterte’s legacy to the Filipino peo­ple when he ends his six-year term in 2022.

Un­fazed by hu­man rights crit­i­cisms on his war on drugs, the Pres­i­dent said he is de­ter­mined to kill those who de­stroy the na­tion through il­le­gal drugs.

“You know the pres­i­dency is a gift from God. Sig­u­rado ‘yan. Ako, my gift to the Filipino peo­ple, I will – lin­isin ko ito talaga be­fore I go out. And I’ll give you a drug-free com­mu­nity. That will be my gift to you,” he said.

“I am ask­ing all of you who make life mis­er­able for the peo­ple in the city, go out be­cause if you de­stroy my city, I will kill you,” he said.

Duterte also said he was ready to land in jail for his relentless war on drugs but he dis­puted the al­leged 70,000 death toll claimed by some hu­man rights groups.

He in­sisted that he would take re­spon­si­bil­ity only for the 1,400 sus­pects slain in the gov­ern­ment’s anti-drug op­er­a­tions.

“Ang pinatay ng namin, ang sabi ng pulis 1,400. Oo ‘yan, amin ‘yan. Akin ‘yan, ako ang nag-utos. Ako ang mag­paku­long. I said that is my gift to you,” he said.

“I will go to prison. So? Ubusin ko talaga itong mga ito [I will fin­ish off all of you],” he added.

The Pres­i­dent re­mained stead­fast in the anti-drug cam­paign de­spite fac­ing a pos­si­ble trial for the al­leged abuses be­fore the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court (ICC).

The ICC re­cently said it would con­tinue the pre­lim­i­nary ex­am­i­na­tion into the “com­mu­ni­ca­tions” sub­mit­ted to the court on the al­leged crimes com­mit­ted in the drug war in the coun­try.

The in­quiry seeks to es­tab­lish whether or not the ICC has ju­ris­dic­tion, and if crimes against hu­man­ity had been com­mit­ted.

The ICC was act­ing on the com­mu­ni­ca­tions filed by lawyer Jude Sabio, Sen­a­tor Antonio Tril­lanes IV and Mag­dalo Rep. Gary Ale­jano who al­leged that Duterte was re­spon­si­ble for the ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings.

Mala­cañang, how­ever, dis­missed the ICC pre­lim­i­nary ex­am­i­na­tion into the drug war, say­ing it was an ex­er­cise of fu­til­ity.

“The ICC is free to pro­ceed with its un­der­tak­ings,” Pres­i­den­tial Spokesman Sal­vador Panelo said.

“We, how­ever, re­it­er­ate that as far as we are con­cerned, the Philip­pines never be­came a State Party to the Rome Statute which cre­ated the ICC. Thus, we will treat this tri­bunal as nonex­is­tent and its ac­tion a fu­tile ex­er­cise,” he added.

Panelo also said any ac­tion of the ICC on the coun­try was an in­sult to the coun­try’s jus­tice sys­tem and an in­fringe­ment upon the coun­try’s sovereignty.

Pres­i­dent Duterte

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