Duterte promises unrelenting war on drugs

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday promised an unrelenting war on drugs, defying critics who were “trivialising” his campaign with human rights concerns and unjustly blaming the authorities for the bloodshed.
Duterte wasted little time in his annual state of the nation address to defend a crackdown that has killed thousands of Filipinos. He said that though he valued human life, he needed to tackle “beasts and vultures” that were preying on helpless people and stopping foreign investment from pouring in.
“The fight will be unremitting as it will be unrelenting despite international and local pressure, the fight will not stop,” he said.
“I do not intend to loosen the leash in the campaign or lose the fight against illegal drugs, neither do I intend to preside over the destruction of the Filipino youth by being timid and tentative in my decisions in office.”
The crackdown on drugs is the signature campaign that has defined Duterte’s presidency and caused an international outcry.
Duterte said critics were wrongly blaming police for most of the deaths and “trivialising” his campaign by talking about the need for due process and to protect human rights. He said his detractors at home and abroad should help him instead.
“Your efforts will be better spent if you use the influence, moral authority, moral ascendancy of your organisations over your respective sectors to educate the people on the evil of illegal drugs, instead of condemning the authorities, unjustly blaming for every killing that bloodies this country,” he said.
DEATH BY TAXES: He lashed out strongly at mining companies he said were destroying the environment and threatened to tax them heavily, or close the sector completely.
He said he would consider stopping exports of raw materials until they could be processed domestically, adding it was a “non-negotiable” policy that mining firms would repair damage they had caused, or “I will tax you to death”. — Reuters