July 24 (EIRNS) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, in his second annual State of the Nation Address to the nation today, began with a determined defense of his war on drugs. He said that “progress and development will sputter if criminals, illegal drugs, illegal users of drugs are allowed to roam the streets freely, victimizing, seemingly with impunity, the innocent and the helpless. Worse yet, there were times in the past when the protectors of the people were themselves the perpetrators of the very crimes they were tasked to prevent or suppress. It is ironic as it is madness.
“I have learned that economy surges only when there is peace and order prevailing in places where investors can pour [in] their capital and expertise. I have learned from my experience in Davao City that investor confidence [is] bolstered and fortified only if a potent force and mechanism for protection of local and
foreign investments are in place.
“That is why, I have resolved that no matter how long it takes, the fight against illegal drugs will continue because that is the root cause of so much evil and so much suffering. That weakens the social fabric and deters foreign investments from pouring in. The fight will be unremitting as it will be unrelenting.
“Despite international and local pressures, the fight will not stop until those who deal in it understand that they have to cease, they have to stop because the alternatives are either jail or hell…. I do not intend to loosen the leash in the campaign or lose the fight against illegal drugs. Neither do I intend to preside over the destruction of the Filipino youth by being timid and tentative in my decisions and actions…. You harm the children in whose hands the future of this Republic is entrusted, and I will hound you to the very gates of hell.”