Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, well-known for his uncanny ability to stir up the public with colourful remarks and shocking statements, has made it clear that he intends to wage his campaign against illegal drugs in the country even if he has to face death as the consequence of his actions, the Manila Bulletin newspaper reports.
"If they want me hanged or to face a firing squad, I will be happy that I died for the next generation of Filipinos so that they’ll have a comfortable life," he said, adding that his administration remains "determined" to stamp out illegal drugs, criminality and corruption in the country.
The president also urged the public to support his endeavours, warning that there are seven million Filipinos addicted to shabu (methamphetamine), and that drugs not only ruin addicts’ lives but cause their families to crumble as well.
"I need your support, our young athletes, in this endeavour if we are to ensure a safe and progressive future for the next generation of Filipinos," Duterte said.
Earlier, the Philippine president also threatened to castrate the corrupt police officers who become involved in the drug trade.
Duterte started his large-scale anti-drug campaign in June 2016 as a follow-up to his election promise to stop drug-related crimes in the country.
The initiative has been strongly criticised by the international community and human rights groups, with Human Rights Watch claiming that this so-called War on Drugs has resulted in the killing of thousands of drug suspects.