UNVEILING. President Duterte, Chinese businessman Huang Rulun (beside Duterte, on the right), and Cabinet members attend the inauguration of the mega drub rehabilitation center in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija on November 29, 2016. Photo by Pia Ranada/Rappler
NUEVA ECIJA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte himself unveiled a“mega” drug rehabilitation center in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija, meant to symbolize another side to his controversial campaign against illegal drugs.
Duterte, along with Chinese tycoon Huang Rulun and some Cabinet members, unveiled the marker of Phase I of the Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center on Tuesday, November 29.
The 11-hectare compound is set to be the largest drug rehab facility in the country once all 4 phases are complete, when it will be able to accommodate 10,000 patients.
Duterte said the rehabilitation center would accommodate drug addicts who willingly surrender to the government.
“Iyong mga tao na tumago at naghintay ng opportunity for a rehab or something good along the way, baka may makukuha sila, iyon ‘yung dadating dito. (Those who hide and wait for an opportunity for rehabilitation or something good along the way, they might get something if they come here),” he said during the inauguration.
But no such future awaits drug addicts who choose to fight back.
“Those who choose to fight it out, made a stand, they are there in the memorials and cemeteries. I am sorry for them,” he added.
Duterte gave his speech in the gravel courtyard of the facility’s newly-constructed dormitory, a maze of two-story white and blue buildings.
“Mr Huang, please accept my gratitude and that of the Filipino people,” said Duterte at the start of his speech, addressing the Chinese real estate businessman who sat beside him onstage.
Calling Huang a “good Samaritan,” Duterte said, “He just came out of nowhere and went to my office and said that he would help me solve the drug problem.”
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