In a press conference in Davao City on Sunday night, President Rodrigo Duterte asked for an extension of time in his quest to rid the country of drugs and crimes.
He can’t keep his promise.
His admission was made during the press conference for the release and freedom of the Norwegian hostage, Kjartan Sekkingstad, who was kept in captivity by the Abu Sayyaf Group for about a year.
He admitted that he could not complete his initial promise to rid the country of drugs and crime within three to six months. He also asked for ‘a little more time’, and said he needed ‘maybe another six months’.
It can be recalled that President Duterte famously vowed to rid the country of drugs and crime in just three to six months when he was still running for President. In fact, it was one of his most popular platform agenda when he was still a presidential candidate, and could probably account for millions of his votes.
He needs another six months.
“Just give me little extension of maybe another six months. I did not have any idea that there were hundreds of thousands already in the drug business.” — President Rodrigo Duterte in a press conference in Davao City.
President Duterte said that he did not realize the extent of the drug problem in the country until he sat as president. He also said that the drug problem worsened because drug syndicates are even being operated and protected by people belonging to the government, especially by elected officials.
“The problem is I can’t kill them all.” — President Duterte, on the list of government employees allegedly involved with drugs.
He said that the list of government employees and public officials involved in narcotics contains about one thousand names.
He also disclosed that the public officials who are closely involved in helping terrorists and drug lords are from the barangay level, mostly barangay captains or village chiefs. This is also the reason why he expressed his dissent against the barangay polls, and his desire to postpone it.
“We have narco-politicians in the lowest government unit, which is the barangay. That will be the start of maybe our perdition and agony.” – President Duterte
So far, President Duterte’s on-going wag on drugs has claimed the lives of about 3,000 people who are suspected of being drug offenders, and the tally is still rising.