President Rodrigo Duterte assured the people that he will definitely confront China about the proliferation of Chinese drug lords in the Philippines and tell them his grievances about it face-to-face.
“When I come face to face with them—makinig kayo—sabihin ko talaga ang sama ng loob ko lahat sa kanila. (Listen—I will really tell them the heaviness of my heart),” Duterte said in a speech during a fellowship dinner with his batchmates in San Beda Law School on Sunday, July 17, at the Malacañang Palace.
The president said majority of the alleged drug pushers killed (and whose bodies remain unclaimed) in his anti-drugs campaign are Chinese.
“Itong mga namatay dito na unclaimed, sino ang mag-claim nyan” (Who would claim these unclaimed bodies?) Most of them really are Chinese. That’s why that’s my lamentations. Sabihin ko sa China one day bakit ganito ang sitwasyon (I’ll ask China one day about this situation),” Duterte said.
I particular, he would ask China why so many Chinese nationals are selling dope in the Philippines.
In the first few days of his presidency, Duterte named three Chinese drug lords in public involved in the illegal drugs trade in the country. Two of them are said to direct operations while inside the New Bilibid Prison.
But the president clarified that this talk with China will have to wait after “bigger” issues with that country are settled, referring to the territorial issues in the West Philippine Sea. So far, China gives no hint about adhering to the decision reached by the international tribunal that settled the issue recently. Duterte, on the other hand, says he is not about to sit down with China for bi-lateral talks.
But China is ready to help
China, meanwhile, expressed willingness to help toward “effective cooperation.” China said they will specifically help “in cracking down on illegal drugs,” according to a Rappler report.
“China has expressed explicitly to the new (Duterte) administration China’s willingness for effective cooperation in this regard, and would like to work out a specific plan of action with the Philippine side,” the statement released on Tuesday, July 19, by embassy spokesperson Li Lingxiao said.
In addition, China recognizes the Duterte administration’s unwavering stance on eradicating the drug trade in the Philippines, the same report said. The Asian superpower, however, reminded the Philippine government how China “has been firm and severe in drug control and in punishing all drug criminals,” punishing them with death penalty regardless of their nationality.