President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to stamp out the illegal drug menace in the country for as long as he is in office, a departure from his earlier promise of solving the problem six months into his term.
Speaking to TV5’s Luchi Cruz-Valdez on Dec. 29, Duterte said he needs more time to solve the drug problem now that he knows its full extent.
“Ito lumabas, nalaman ko nung nag-Presidente ako, ganito pala kalawak. It will last until the last day of my term, six years ‘to. And I have five years and a few days,” he said.
Duterte admitted he initially promised a shorter time to eradicate the drug menace because his knowledge about it was limited.
“I did not have the wherewithals, I did not have the information nor to access the information. Nobody was — I’m sure that you were horrified on your own TV when you saw by the thousands of Filipinos surrendering — payat tapos — all the time, yun pala ang nakikita ng lahat, they were all addicts,” he told Valdez.
Latest data from the Philippine National Police show that over a million drug addicts have surrendered to the government from July 1 to Dec. 31.