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Duterte wants to get tougher on drug menace

But Philippine leader's threat of harsher actions seen as a ploy to silence his critics

More than 5,000 have died so far in President Rodrigo Duterte's brutal war on the narcotics trade - nearly all suspects killed in raids or by motorcycle-riding hitmen - yet illegal drugs continue to flood the Philippines.

A frustrated Mr Duterte said that the nation's drug problem had "worsened".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2019, with the headline 'Duterte wants to get tougher on drug menace'. Subscribe