China-funded rehab center almost complete
A drug rehabilitation center in Nueva Ecija funded by the Chinese government is set to be completed, President Rodrigo Duterte has said.
In an expletive-laced speech on Friday directed at the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), Duterte lauded China for helping the Philippines in its war against illegal drugs without “any publicity.”
“Four million drug addicts is no joke. We are not a rich country. It is only China who has helped us. I requested the military to open their camps to allow people who’d want to donate rehab facilities,” he said during the National Banana Congress in Davao City.
“China is about to complete sub rosa. Walang hambog, walang news, neither any publicity. It’s about to be completed,” he added.
The President said the rehabilitation center situated at Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija, would be able to house at least 1,400 drug addicts.
The Department of National Defense (DND) has earlier said that it was considering four military camps to serve as drug rehabilitation centers.
Aside from Fort Magsaysay, DND said it was also looking into Camp Macario Peralta in Jamindan, Camp Kiribatan in Bukidnon and Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal.
While Duterte cited China’s willingness to help, he did not end his speech without launching verbal attacks to the US and EU.
“Pagkatapos, you, instead of helping us, you know very well that I entered the presidency midterm and I was operating now on a budget that is not mine. This is Aquino’s budget. Next year pa ‘yung akin, because you know I entered midterm, June,” he said.
The US and the EU has been critical of the President’s no-nonsense war against illegal drugs and possible violations of human rights.
But Duterte has repeatedly shrugged off these criticisms, even threatening to sever ties with its long-time ally, the US.
“Assess yourselves because if you don’t, you will lose the Philippines,” he said.
Amid concerns that the EU might cut its aid to the Philippines, the President minced no words and said, “You’ve been threatening to cut aids and everything. Who do you think you are? Without your aid, fine, we will survive. But do not threaten me…son of a gun.”
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