Duterte inaugurates rehabilitation centre, defends drug crackdown

Manila, Nov 30 (IANS) Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte defended his war on drugs as he inaugurated a new drug rehabilitation centre at a military base 170 kms from here, media reports said.

Duterte vowed to continue his violent anti-drug crackdown and attacked his critics as he opened the Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija province, Efe news agency reported.

“I made my orders very specific: go find them and arrest them. If they choose to fight violently, as a soldier with a military mindset, go ahead and kill them,” the President said.

“Why would these idiots crucify me when I have said if you destroy my country I will kill you,” he added.

According to local daily Philippines Star, the 100,000 sq. metre facility can accommodate 10,000 patients and is thought to be the first large-scale drug rehabilitation centre in the country.

Currently there are just 44 centres in the country catering to about 10,000 patients in total, the government said in a statement.

Funding was provided by Chinese real estate tycoon Huang Rulun, who donated $281 million for the construction of two drug rehabilitation centres in the country.

More than 5,600 people have died in the crackdown since the president took office on June 30.

–IANS

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