Rodrigo Duterte middle finger
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte raised a middle finger aimed at EU lawmakers as he spoke before local government officials in Davao city, southern Philippines, on 20 September 2016Lean Daval Jr/Reuters

Rodrigo Duterte is not fully satisfied with the war on drugs in the Philippines. Since the former mayor of Davao City took the top job in May this year, more than 3,500 people have been killed in connection with the trade.

"[On] a scale of one to 10, we have achieved something like, about five," the president of the Philippines was quoted as saying by Rappler. Duterte made the remarks on Thursday (22 September) during the inauguration of a power plant in Misamis Oriental, located in the Northern Mindanao region.

The president added that he would share his dissatisfaction with the police in a meeting later that day. "I will have the command conference with the police, just a reminder for them also that I'm not happy with what has happened," he said.

Duterte's controversial crackdown has attracted international media attention as the body count continues to surge. The outspoken president announced that he would invite rapporteurs from the United Nations and European Union to investigate extrajudicial killings in the country on condition that he could also ask questions.

"In keeping with the time-honoured principle of the right to be heard, I will ask them. Each one of them," he said.

The president said he was confident that he would be able to answer their questions and would "discredit" them when the roles are reversed. "I killed thousands? What was the name of the first victim? What happened? Where? For what reason? How was it done? What time was it?" he said.

Duterte also insisted that issuing threats against criminals and syndicates is not unlawful. "Why are you complaining about me threatening the criminals and the drug syndicates? If you consider the facts that we have now we have 3,700,000 drug addicts," he added.

"You know there is no crime at all in the Philippines that says I cannot threaten criminals or else I will go to prison."

According to Duterte, there will soon be four million drug addicts in the Philippines. "Two to three years ago, there are already about three million addicts contaminated by drugs. The recent events would show that there are about, we're counting, it would hit one million by the end of the month," he was quoted as saying by Philstar.

"So, three million plus one million is four million," he added.