Human rights groups told anew: Don’t meddle with drug problem


    PRESIDENT Duterte on Monday night reiterated that human rights groups should stop tinkering with the problem of illegal drugs in the country and should not threaten government with investigation and imprisonment.

    The President, in his weekly public address, said human groups might want to look for another advocacy to pursue “but do not tinker with the drug problem in the Philippines.

    This is mine and mine alone.”

    Duterte said human rights groups might consider helping inform the public about the ill effects of illegal drugs and tell drug users to stop pushing the legal substance.

    He said he might even send the human rights groups the list of those involved in illegal drug use and trading to enable them to identify and help urge these people to stop their illegal activity.

    “Convince these people in the list to stop, tell them to stop or they might die. That is the proper way of doing things. Instead of going after us, who are enforcing the law, do not threaten us with imprisonment and investigation because you are trying to pin down an individual maybe out of bigotry,” he said in mixed Filipino and English.

    He reiterated that the government is waging a war against illegal drugs to “save a nation.”

    The President said illegal drug trade remains a problem in the country and he needs the Armed Forces to help fight the illegal drug problem which is being led by drug cartels like the Sinaloa and Bamboo Triad.

    “It is a national security. It is now the welfare of the state that’s at stake. That is why this is not just the job of the police, it’s national security,” he added.

    Duterte, who ran in 2016 on a promise of eradicating illegal drugs in the first six months of his term as president, reiterated that the military and the police should always “follow the law” in performing their duties, including using force when their lives are already in danger.

    He reiterated that he would assume responsibility and support them if they get into trouble while performing their mandate.