DAVAO CITY—President Duterte urged newly elected local officials to stay away from the illegal drug trade.
While he clarified that his appeal was not a warning saying that he was already an outgoing President, he admonished though that he would be active in the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign when he becomes a private citizen.
“I hope that these new officials would not engage in illegal drug trade. This is not a warning though, because I am already going out,” Duterte said during his Talk to the People program aired on Thursday.
“My request to the mayors to be true, [also] to the governors and all of the officials, especially those elected by the people, do not violate the trust that the people has reposed upon us, especially on illegal drugs,” he added.
Tackling the proliferation of illicit narcotics is an uphill battle for the government considering the huge amount of money involved, he pointed out in a statement posted on Thursday by the Presidential Communications Operations Office.
He said the problem of illegal drugs trade can not be addressed by simple police or military operation. “It’s difficult. I said the market involved millions of pesos before, now it has gone up to billions of pesos. That is why it has to be a war. This is not only a special operation of the police or military,” he said.