Philippine president unveils 'mega' drug rehab center funded by Chinese philanthropist

Updated 2016-11-29 21:48:22 Xinhua

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday thanked and heaped praises on a Chinese philanthropist who helped build a 10,000-bed drug rehabilitation center inside a military camp in Nueva Ecija, a province north of Manila.

Duterte attended the inauguration ceremony Tuesday and said that unlike others who criticized his anti-narcotics campaign, Chinese businessman Huang Rulun "came out of nowhere and came to my office and said he would help me solve the drug problem."

Huang, an overseas Chinese in the Philippines who donated 1.4 billion pesos (28.11 million U.S. dollars) to build two drug rehabilitation centers with a total land area of 100,000 square meters, expressed support for Duterte's war against drugs, saying "this is our modest efforts to make the Philippines peaceful, stable and harmonious."

Huang said the Philippines and China are close neighbors. "The people of the two countries have maintained a deep, friendly and long-lasting relationship. Especially since President Duterte took office (on June 30), he exerted efforts in strengthening the ties between China and the Philippines, promoting world peace, and opening a new page in the China-Philippines relations," he said.

Huang, 65, migrated to the Philippines in the 1980s and later went back to China to invest and expanded his business empire.

In the speech, Duterte again lambasted the West for openly criticizing his war on drugs.

"When you are a friend, you do not treat him badly before the public. You don't humiliate an ally, and at all cost you must save the friendship as an ally and friend so that you can help each other in the world of geopolitics." he said.

Unlike his previous speeches, Duterte did not mention any country this time. The United States, the European Union, the United Nations and international human rights groups have criticized Duterte's anti-narcotics war that police and media reports said has killed more than 4,000.

Duterte said that he would continue with his campaign in spite of the criticisms hurled against him.

"Let me warn you, drug is a very virulent agent in any society. The campaign against drug will continue until the last day of my term," he said, vowing, "I will not stop until the last drug pusher is out of the street and last drug lord or king killed."

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