At a recent speaking engagement, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines had some three-million drug addicts within its borders.
He also warned that the Philippines could soon become Asia’s version of Mexico due to the government’s indifference towards the drug problem.
Duterte said: “If the drug threat persists, we could be the next Mexico.”
On Sunday, the presidential hopeful warned the Junior Chamber International in Pasay City: “We (the Philippines and Mexico) have the same temperament, even the same patrons.”
The city mayor went on to say: “In Manila, almost all policemen are on the take. When they are called for an operation, many of them would squeal. They will warn criminals about the operation, because they are on the take.”
Duterte also scratched on the issues with drug lords who are caught, prosecuted and receive jail-time only to keep on with their business as if nothing ever happened. The issue is said to have just ‘come to light’ when a recent raid at the New Bilibid Prison showed the involvement of drug syndicates, drug lords and the police themselves helping.
Duterte said the drug issues within the country were so serious that is had become a national security concern.
“You ask every mayor and they will say their number one problem is drugs,” he said.
“I supposed President Aquino was not given the information about the drug problem. It was only a month ago that the Manila Police revealed that nine out of 10 youths are influenced by drugs. That is dangerous, it involves national security.”
He added that while the drug problem had become serious, the national government had not done much about it, or even cared to consult with local executives on how to go against it.
“If you have three million addicts, it means that you have at least 30,000 drug pushers,” he said.
A bigger picture that concerns Duterte is that the government might not be able to avoid a turf-war against big-time drug lords.
“I told you, when you come to my city and sell drugs, I will really kill you,” he said.
Aside from neglecting the drug problem, Duterte said the national government, ironically, has been running after those seriously fighting the problem instead, him included.