President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that he was wrong to promise that he could end the country's illegal drugs problem in "three to six months" time.
"When I became president, ganito sinabi ko, 'I can clean it in six months,'" Duterte said during the inauguration of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway in Cebu on April 27.
President Duterte admitted Wednesday he was wrong to think that he could end the country's drug problem in three to six months — a campaign promise he made in 2016. pic.twitter.com/GaY3GU78UQ— The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) April 28, 2022
"Then after that, I realized na nagkamali talaga ako. Maybe it’s hubris. It was campaign time, payabangan naman iyan."
Duterte also acknowledged that rich drug users are difficult to pursue, noting they're in mansions with heavy security. Without proof, he also claimed that the rich drug users have police connections, even providing them drugs.
“Hindi na ako presidente in a few days. But if you continue to f*** the Filipino," he said, "I might find a way really to just...No quarters given, no quarters asked."
Upon assuming office in 2016, the Duterte administration launched its flagship bloody war on drugs called Oplan Tokhang, which saw the execution of thousands of suspected drug peddlers, users, and small-time criminals.
Based on the government's "Real Numbers" data, a total of 6,229 individuals were killed during anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016, to Jan. 31, 2022.
Rights groups, however, estimated that the number of deaths from the bloody anti-narcotics campaign reached as high as 27,000.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has ordered a probe into the war on drugs, but Malacañang said it has no jurisdiction over the Philippines. Duterte pulled Manila out of the ICC in 2019 after it launched a preliminary probe.
The ICC temporarily suspended its investigation in November 2021 after the national government requested the tribunal to defer its probe, saying that it was already on the case.