It is very disturbing that while Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is yet to assume as the next President of the Philippines, there are reports stating that several millions of pesos have been raised by drug lords as a bounty or reward for those who could eliminate him and his would-be Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Chief Supt. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa. As of the latest report, from P 5 million, the bounty was raised to P10 million, then P50 million and, now, an unprecedent amount, P1 billion.
According to reports, the bounty was offered by several drug lords, the heads of syndicates involved in the manufacture and trade of illegal drugs, after President-elect Duterte offered reward for those who will be able to stop the drug lords and their tentacles, dead or alive. Informed sources said at least 20 drug lords operating within the National Penitentiary in Muntinlupa City raised P50 million each for the bounty for Duterte and dela Rosa’s head. The report identified one Peter Co as the drug lord inside the Bilibid who collected P50 million from 20 drugs for the bounty.
Of course, the report could be officially confirmed even as President-elect Duterte shrugged off the report. He added that such reports cannot deter him from going after the drug lords and syndicates which have been victimizing and killing the youth. He reaffirmed his plan to work out for the re-imposition of the death penalty especially on drug lords. “Hindi na nila ako kailangan takutin dahil matagal nang naubos ang takot ko. Wala na akong takot na naiwan. Ang naiwan nalang sa akin, tapang,” Mr. Duterte even said.
Whether the drug lords are serious or not, President Duterte and incoming PNP chief De La Rosa should all the necessary security measurers to ensure that the drugs will not succeed in their vicious plans. The country must intensify the crackdown on drugs and drug syndicates which have also become the driving force for the youth and other people to commit crimes. Every citizen of the land must contribute his/her share towards the success of this endeavour.