With less than seven months left in his six-year term, President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he takes pride in having delivered “almost all” of his campaign promises.
“My term is nearing its end. I can say with a little bit of pride that I have fulfilled almost all of my campaign promises),” he said in a speech in Zamboanga City.
Duterte admitted he may have failed to completely wipe out illegal drugs and criminality as well as end the five-decade communist insurgency, but said he did as much as he could with the time he had.
“For as long as there are men in this planet, there will always be misdeeds and wrongdoings committed by human being. Be that as it may, I said I tried my best and I don’t need to enumerate what they are but I have delivered almost every promise I made to the people,” he said.
The country’s chief executive, who will run for senator in next year’s elections, said the bloody crackdown on illegal drugs could have been more successful if not for those criticizing the efforts of his government.
“I said I will try to eliminate or finish all shabu industries. I think I was not able to finish this because every minute there is a stupid guy around [criticizing our every move],” he said.
He criticized the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) for launching in September an investigation into alleged human rights abuses related to the drug war.
Though the ICC “temporarily suspended” the investigation, its Chief Prosecutor, Karim Khan, said his office will ask the Philippine government to provide “substantiating information” on the proceedings it cited in seeking a deferral of the probe.
“I am a Filipino. If there is somebody who will prosecute me, it should be the Philippine Prosecution Service where I was a member. I was a prosecutor for nine years before becoming vice mayor and mayor. If I will face a tribunal, it should be before a Philippine court,” Duterte said.
The President also expressed regret over the communist rebels’ refusal to pursue peace negotiations.
Despite objections of the police and military, Duterte said he went as far as appointing leftist leaders in his Cabinet, only to have a “falling out” later on.
“I failed because the communists refused to agree. When you start talking about a coalition government, that is stupid,” the commander-in-chief said.