Crime & Justice

Duterte says he wants successor to continue drug war

Bangkok, Mar 1 (EFE).- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday he hoped his successor would continue the country’s war on drugs when he leaves office after the May 9 elections, despite being accused of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.

“I hope that whoever holds the office of president will continue this, if not with the ferocity with which I did it, at least at a level a little lower than mine,” he said during an address to the nation released Tuesday.

The president was “very concerned about the resurgence of the drug problem” and said that, as he has done since he took office in 2016, it could destroy the Philippine nation.

More than 6,200 people, alleged traffickers or drug addicts, have died during the anti-drug campaign, according to official data, while human rights organizations said the fatality figure could be between 27,000 and 30,000.

In September, the ICC gave the green light to an investigation for crimes against humanity in this campaign, although it temporarily suspended the investigations in November at the request of the Philippine government, which said it would conduct its own investigation.

The president said in his speech that “the [International Criminal Court] does not matter,” in line with other derogatory comments against the body in recent months.

Duterte, whose single six-year term ends in mid-2022, has advocated on multiple occasions for authorities to shoot to kill during situations in which they are supposedly attacked during raids on drug suspects.

The Philippine Justice Department said in October that medical analyzes of many of the 52 cases investigated would negate the official version that the suspects drew their pistols before being shot by police. EFE


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