'Things have worsened,' Duterte says of drug problem

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 26) — President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that the country's drug problem had "worsened," and even warned that the Philippines could be the next Mexico which is supposedly controlled by drug cartels.

"Things have worsened. My policemen are at the brink of surrendering," Duterte said in Bisaya during a campaign rally of the administration party PDP-Laban in Cagayan de Oro City Sunday night.

"Now you can see the headlines: everyday billions worth of drugs are entering the country. Look at the main screen and the crawler, the running news at the bottom. It's always about drugs, drugs, and drugs," he said, letting out an expletive.

The President lamented how shabu by the billions of pesos would enter the country on a certain day, a diversionary tactic that will be followed by an even bigger drug shipment.

"Everyday, don't believe that it's one billion. The next day there will be another one point three billion. That's just an excuse. That's a bait. Believe us so we can focus on it," he said. "Actually there are other billions coming in."

Authorities seized ₱1.13 billion worth of shabu during a raid in the upscale Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City last March 19. Three days after, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Bureau of Customs intercepted a ₱1.8 billion shabu shipment at the Port of Manila.

The President said he is worried that the country's drug situation would further worsen.

"In the end, we will be like Mexico. We will be controlled by drug cartels. The Sinaloa has already entered the country and that is why drugs are being thrown in the Pacific. The same is happening in the West," he said. Sinaloa is an international organized crime syndicate.

He said he had told the police and the military to do everything to put a stop to the drug problem.

The President said he urged them not to listen to human rights groups who have criticized his bloody war on drugs that has left over 5,000 people dead in police operations. Critics say thousands more may have been killed in the drug war, something that is being examined by the International Criminal Court.

"Don't listen to the human rights. I'll take care of it. Things like that are my orders. The 5,000 are my orders, because that's what it resulted in, encounters," Duterte said.