PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Friday night said the Philippines cannot control the drug problem.
“Sabi ko, ang America na America, naging America na iyan, hindi nga niya makontrol iyong drugs, tayo pa kaya?” Duterte said in a speech before medical practitioners in Davao City.
Duterte said the country’s long coastline and thousands of islands make it hard for authorities to stop the smuggling of drugs into the country.
“We do not have the equipment, kulang man. And you know the coastline. How… it’s 37,000 iyong … It is not a contiguous place na at least one border lang. Ito island… that’s 7,000 islands comprising the Philippine… the Republic of the Philippines,” he said.
He added: “Hindi makaya nga ng iba, tayo pa kaya? Iyong drugs na iyan, we can’t control it.”
Duterte won the presidency on a promise to end the country’s drug problem in six months.
Before his self-imposed deadline lapsed, the President asked for an extension of another six months.
Last month, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that one of the major accomplishments of the Duterte administration during its first year is the number of drugs seized and drug dependents who surrendered.
Andanar said that Duterte’s war on drugs should also be commended for the surrender of a total of 1,308,078 drug users and the confiscation of P18 billion worth of drugs, which is more than the volume of drugs confiscated during the six-year term of President Benigno Aquino III.
The Duterte administration’s war on drugs has been widely criticized for the number of the hundreds of killings of drug personalities in police operations.
A large number of drug dependents and suspected peddlers have also been killed by unidentified gunmen.