DAVAO CITY, Philippines – In a recent speaking engagement, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines has some 3-million drug addicts within its borders.
Those numbers are being questioned by many foreigners who have lived within its border, knowing all to well the massive drug issues within the Philippines, and also Davao City.
Duterte warned the Philippines could soon become Asia’s variation of Mexico due to the national government’s indifference towards drug pushers, users and the likes.
Duterte said in his recent rant “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 are so serious that is has 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,” Duterte said.
He said that while the drug problem has become serious, the national government has 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,” Duterte said.
Aside from neglecting the illegal drug problem, Duterte said the national government, ironically, has been running after those seriously fighting the problem instead, him included.
The ‘real’ numbers on drugs within the Philippines is unknown – local, regional and national news show an endless stream of users, wars, killings and arrests against a nation embedded in drugs from long ago.
If Mayor Duterte thinks that 3-million addicts and 30,000 pushers is a problem – then the “real” numbers should even be more shocking to those who know the true reality of drug issues within the Philippines.