President Rodrigo Duterte vowed on Monday that he would carry on with the war against illicit drugs “no matter what” and warned those involved in the drug trade they have only one choice – either to go to hell or to jail – if they do not stop, The Manila Times Online reported on Tuesday (July 25).
In his second State of the Nation address, Duterte said the war against illicit drugs would be unrelenting despite international and local pressure against it. He also called for the re-imposition of death penalty, particularly on drug-related heinous crimes.
Based on the data from the Philippine National Police, 63,926 anti-drug operations have been conducted by police while 86,933 suspects have been arrested and another 3,200 killed since the war started on July 1, 2016. Also, about 1.3 million individuals have surrendered as of June 20, 2017.
The drug war was marred by the killing of a Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo in October last year inside the PNP headquarters in Quezon City by rogue anti-drug operatives who used a fake warrant.
“The fight will not stop until those who deal in it understand that they have to cease, they have to stop because the alternatives are either jail or hell. I have resolved that no matter how long it will take, the fight against illicit drugs will continue because this is the cause of so much evil and so much suffering,” said Duterte.
He appealed to government’s critics to join the fight against drugs and all forms of criminality.