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Palace: 3-6 months not enough time to address severe drug problem

Malacañang said Wednesday that President Rodrigo Duterte has conceded that he spoke too soon when he said he will end the illegal drug problem in three to six months.

"Narealize po niya na mas malalim at mas malala ang problema kaya mas tinagalan ang pagsugpo sa ipinagbabawal na droga," Roque said.

(He realized that the problem is worse and takes a longer to address.)

But Roque said the government's anti-drug campaign is on track of weeding out the problem by the time the President steps down in office on June 30, 2022, with 52% of barangays now declared drug free and 31% left to be cleared.

Roque also said the government's anti-drug campaign nabbed P49 billion worth of illegal drugs, rescued 3,736 children from being involved in the drug trade, arrested over 12,000 high value targets, among others.

"I think with one year left, we can achieve the target of all barangays being drug free," Roque said.

The Duterte's anti drug campaign, however, is facing an International Criminal Court (ICC) scrutiny with former ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asking ICC to probe the Duterte administration’s drug war since there is “reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity has been committed in the context of the drug war.”

Bensouda, in a 52-page report she submitted before retiring from ICC, cited police, human rights groups, media reports and confidential sources in concluding that the drug war killings had a pattern of killing suspects who are not resisting arrest, with some even begging for their lives to be spared. — RSJ, GMA News