President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday revealed that President Rodrigo Duterte had asked him to continue the outgoing administration’s war on illegal drugs.

In a news conference, Marcos said Duterte made the request before the May 9 elections.

“He was very assertive about it. Sabi niya, ‘ituloy mo, do it your own way, palitan mo, pero ‘wag mong iiwanan dahil kawawa ang kabataan natin. Masisira ang buhay nila,'” Marcos said.

“And I fully appreciate what he said because our drug problem remains,” he added.

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

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. John Ezekiel J. Hirro