“That self-imposed time of three to six months, well, I did not realize how severe and how serious the problem of drug menace [is] in this republic until I became President,” said Duterte during a press conference in Davao City.
“The problem is … I can’t kill them all,” he reportedly said.
According to Reuters, more than 3,000 people, or an estimated 47 people per day, have been killed in the past 10 weeks on suspicion of involvement with drugs. Local police say that many of these deaths were committed by inspired vigilantes and about one-third were legitimate police operations.
Rights groups have heavily criticized Duterte’s regime for human-rights violations in relation to the President’s “war on drugs.”
Last week, Human Rights Watch called for an independent investigation into allegations of direct involvement by President Duterte in extrajudicial killings during his time as mayor of Davao City.
Although he says he will need six more months for his drug war, Duterte has previously said he will continue the war “until the last pusher is out of the streets” and until the last day of his six-year term in office.