“IT’S either you kill me or I will kill you.”

This was the remark of President Rodrigo Duterte at the groundbreaking ceremony of Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway in Cordova, Cebu held Thursday afternoon.

Amid criticisms on his deadly war on drugs, Duterte warned that individuals who will continue to be involved in narcotics trade have to face death.

The Chief Executive said he would not hesitate "to kill" suspected drug personalities, because they hamper the growth of the country.

“It’s either you kill me or I kill you. That’s it. You can assassinate me,” Duterte said.

The President has earned criticisms from the international community, the Church, and human rights group for allegedly allowing people to kill suspected drug personalities.

Since Duterte assumed presidency in July 2016, more than 7,000 alleged drug users and traffickers have been killed. The current administration, however, said only 2,500 of them have been killed in a legitimate police operation.

In a latest report released by the international group Human Rights Watch, it said that Duterte is “ultimately responsible” for the deaths of thousands of individuals allegedly linked to illegal drugs trade.

Duterte, however, remained unfazed by critics' disapproval in his war on illegal drugs.

“There’s a way of a bit difference between killing of innocent person and killing a criminal. They ought not be mixed up. I’m trying to zero in at law and order because peace is what makes a country developed and progressed,” the President said.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella defended Duterte and said that the drug war is merely aimed to "protect humanity from a modern-day evil." (SunStar Philippines)