Malaybalay City, Bukidnon – As he graced the groundbreaking of the P700-million drug rehabilitation center on Saturday, March 25, President Rodrigo Duterte has again threatened to kill big names in the illegal drug trade. “I will kill you. If you won’t stop, as long as I’m the President, I will destroy you, whether you like it or not,” Duterte told thousands of crowd at the Bukidnon Provincial Capitol grounds on the culmination of the province’s annual Kaamulan Festival.
He said he does not mind going to prison or rot in hell as long as he gets rid of the country’s drug problem. “It would be my honor, I’d be happy if I am killed in the altar of drugs in the Philippines. It’s my honor to die for my country,” Duterte said.
After his speech, Duterte went to the site of the proposed drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation center (DARTC) in Purok 17, Barangay Casisang, Malaybalay City, on a five-hectare land donated by the City Government. Once finished, the facility will provide services such as livelihood programs, capability-building activities, and skills training for the recovering drug dependents. It will also have sports and recreational amenities for the drug users as well as training center for medical practitioners, health workers, and volunteers of the taskforce DARTC.
In a statement, Senator Zubiri said that the rehabilitaton center started out with the signing of memorandum between the Friends of the Philippines Foundation, a Chinese non-government organization, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and Department of Health. Zubiri said that Malaybalay City was chosen because it is at the center of the major cities in Mindanao. “Bukidnon is at the heart of Mindanao. Therefore, establishment of this facility, which will have a capacity to house and handle more than 5,000 recovering drug dependents, is a guarantee that all cities in Mindanao will be catered,” Zubiri said. The senator added that Malaybalay is also an ideal location for a facility for drug users seeking rehabilitation due to its cold weather. “It will not be like the other facilities where the patients feel like it’s a detention center.
Construction will start after the groundbreaking and is expected to be operational by the last quarter of 2017. Meanwhile, Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria Zubiri Jr. said that aside from the rehab center, various Chinese business groups will also invest in more than a dozen projects in the province in the coming days.