President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he would continue the war he had waged on illegal drugs even after he steps down from the presidency.

In a “Talk to the People” address, Duterte said the illegal drug problem would make Philippine society “dysfunctional” if neglected.

“Ako basta ako galit ako sa droga. Presidente ako o hindi, galit talaga ako sa inyo,” Duterte said.

“Kaya we can continue this fight even if I am already a civilian. Mahirap itong shabu na ‘to, sabi ko sisirain ang bayan nito. They will make the Philippine society dysfunctional,” he added.

The president also said he would rather see drug lords dead than alive.

“Galit talaga ako. ‘Pag ginawa mo ‘yan sa bayan ko, para na ring
tinatapos mo ang buhay namin. So gusto kong dapat malaman ‘yan ng mga durugista. I will forever remain your enemy. Iyan ang tandaan ninyo,” Duterte said as he closed his speech.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier said it wanted the next administration to continue the country’s war on illegal drugs.

The Commission on Human Rights, in its report on drug-related extrajudicial killings in the country released in November 2020, found that only 2.36 percent or 11 of 466 drug personalities who initiated aggression or resisted arrest during police anti-drug operations survived.

According to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, in 200,632 anti-drug operations conducted from July 2016 to April 2020, 6,117 individuals were killed.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, according to some human rights groups, has killed thousands more than the official numbers, including mere bystanders.

The drug war had been under probe by the International Criminal Court, but it was suspended upon request of the Philippine government.

Duterte’s administration has remained firm in refusing to participate in the probe.

The next administration, presumably to be headed by Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., will have former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos as its DILG chief. John Ezekiel J. Hirro