Pubdate: Sun, 24 Jul 2016
Source: Philippine Star (Philippines)
Copyright: PhilSTAR Daily Inc. 2016
Author: Christina Mendez


With the focus of the intensified drug campaign now shifting to drug 
lords, President Duterte has clearly  and literally  spelled out his 
way of dealing with them: KILL.

"It is spelled K-I-L-L. Bakit sabi mo kell? Bisaya eh (Why kell? It's 
Visayan)," he said, drawing laughter from his audience in Buluan in 
Maguindanao where he inspected a power plant operated by Green Earth 
Corp. last Friday.

"Remember that I have always been consistent in my statements. During 
the campaign: Do not destroy my country because I will kill you. 
Can't you understand that?" he said, addressing the drug lords.

"Do not destroy the young, our children, because I will kill you," he repeated.

In the audience were local executives led by Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu 
and Cabinet officials including Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana 
and Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol.

The Chief Executive's renewed warning came amid criticism from 
several quarters that his administration's anti-drug campaign has so 
far targeted only small-time drug pushers and peddlers.

Citing intelligence reports, Duterte said the "big fishes" have been 
identified but many are now abroad. He did not say if they fled the 
country out of fear or are just controlling their illegal trade from abroad.

He admitted it's not easy to eliminate drug lords as many of them 
have become billionaires enjoying protection from officials and law enforcers.

"I have to invade a country to arrest the drug lords. They're 
billionaires, you can't easily get them," Duterte said.

He did not say which countries host drug lords with operations in the 
Philippines, although in recent speeches he had said he wanted to ask 
China why most drug lords here were Chinese.

The Chinese government would later issue a statement denying it was 
tolerating citizens involved in drugs. It also voiced its is 
willingness to cooperate with the Duterte administration in 
addressing the drug menace.

The President said it was irritating that the government was getting 
criticized for not getting the so-called big fish, considering that 
such criticisms usually came from people who were clueless about the 
real picture.

"I just can't tell them, 'come on I'll show you something, I'll let 
you get inside the intelligence room and see everything,'" he said.

Duterte ranted about how some critics were downplaying the impact of 
the administration's anti-drug campaign, noting how drug users as 
well as personalities like businessman Peter Lim, have come forward 
to submit themselves to government investigation.

At latest count, the President said the numbers have reached around 
92,000 surrenderees all over the country.

"Big fish, big fish, they're not here, they're home. It's really 
infuriating. That's why I say I intend to talk to China," he said.

He cited news reports about the discovery of a drugs laboratory in a 
ship manned by Chinese. "They don't cook (drugs) here anymore. If 
they get caught doing so if ever, they get killed," he said in Filipino.

He also chided those who demand due process and a stop to 
extrajudicial killings.

"They're pretending to be wise but they're not. That is the problem 
with the Filipino, they think they're bright even if they're not. 
What big fish? Go find them in the market," he said.

Duterte said his administration is addressing the drug menace 
carefully, first by targeting the users, the runners, pushers and 
then going after the suppliers.

A lawyer and former city prosecutor, Duterte said due process - 
especially for drug offenders  is not his concern but the concern of the courts.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom