If he did not become a lawyer, President Duterte could have been a drug dealer by now.

The President candidly admitted that he understands the ins and outs of the illegal drug trade and could have ventured into such business if he hadn’t pursued his law studies years ago.

CDO 54 1024x683 - Duterte says he could have been a drug dealer if he didn’t become a lawyer
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
(ROBINSON NIÑAL/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Kaya kuhang-kuha ko kayo. I mean, ‘yung lengguwahe ninyo pati ‘yung talkatise ninyo sa loob alam ko ‘yan. Kasi kung hindi ako pumasa ng Bar, nag-aral na rin ako noon paano mag-negosyo ng droga (That’s why I really understand you. I mean your language and your talkatese inside, I know them. If I did not pass the Bar, I would have studied then how to go into illegal drug trade),” Duterte said in a public address aired on State television Wednesday.

“Alam ko na pero hindi ko naituloy kasi na-abogado man ako (I know then but I did not pursue it because I became a lawyer),” he added.

Duterte earned a political science degree from the Lyceum of the Philippines University and a law degree from San Beda College. He worked as a prosecutor in Davao City before rising to become mayor of his home city and president of the land.

In his remarks Wednesday, the President affirmed his resolve to continue the campaign against illegal drugs despite criticism from human rights groups. He maintained that his mandate is to serve and protect the people.

Duterte claimed that he was not afraid of rights groups, including those who want to publish a book about his drug war. He said he could tell simply people not to read such book. 

“Hindi ako natatakot diyan. Anong sinasabi nila? Tama. Kung i-publish nilang ilang libro diyan? Tama. Tama ang ginagawa ninyo kasi ‘yon ang trabaho ninyo. Magkapera kayo, bayaran kayo, ‘yan ang trabaho mo (I am not afraid of that. What are they saying? Right. If they publish books? Right. You’re doing the right thing because that’s your job. You’ll earn money, you’ll get paid, that’s your job),” he said.

“Ako, iba ang trabaho ko (My job is different). I protect the people. You might say you protect public interest. For what? For destroying the Filipino? Kalokohan (That’s rubbish).” 

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