Duterte said the fight against illegal drugs will continue, because it is the root of evil and suffering that weakens the social fabric, and deters foreign investment from coming in.

"Despite local and international pressure, the fight will not stop," he said.

The war on drugs has earned the Philippines criticism from the international community and rights groups.

More than 7,000 Filipinos have been killed since last year during the clampdown which consists of extrajudicial violence, according to the Human Rights Watch.

Solving the drug menace and ending crime in the country were among Duterte’s main promises during the 2016 elections.

Upon assuming the presidency on June 30, 2016, Duterte implemented his campaign against drugs, led by the Philippine National Police.

He called on critics to use their influence and moral ascendancy to educate Filipinos instead of condemning the authorities and blaming him.

- 'Not afraid of legal condemnation'

Tens of thousands of drug personalities – alleged pushers and users – have been arrested by police while millions have surrendered during the ongoing campaign.

Duterte said he was not afraid of “legal condemnation and public persecution” if it meant protecting the next generation of Filipinos from illegal drugs.

“I will hound you to the very gates of hell,” he said.

Speaking about the communist insurgency issue, Duterte called the leftist rebels enemies of the state.

“I used to be friends with the NDFP [National Democratic Front of the Philippines],” he said.

He reiterated his earlier decision to halt peace negotiations with the communists.

Talks between government and the leftist rebels collapsed after a spate of attacks on government troops.

The president criticized the rebels for collecting “revolutionary taxes” from businesses and ordinary people.

- No mention of Marawi

Friction between Duterte and communist leaders escalated when the president placed the entire Mindanao island under martial law to address the terror threat posed by Islamist extremists.

Local news website Philstar reported that Duterte took two hours to deliver his address, straying from the text prepared for him and missing out on key issues.

The website said that while the president assured the military of his support in its efforts to counter-terrorism in Mindanao, he failed to mention concrete steps to address the humanitarian crisis in Marawi.

Tens of thousands of Marawi residents have been displaced and forced to stay at evacuation centers, since fighting broke out between government forces and Daesh-linked Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists in May. The clash triggered a humanitarian crisis and led to the death of 100 security personnel and dozens of civilians.

Despite the recent submission of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law aiming to address decades of political struggle of the Mindanao people demanding autonomy, Duterte made a scant mention of the proposed legislation.

Joblessness in Philippines has increased over the past year, from 5.7 percent in January last year to 6.6 percent in the same period this year. Duterte did not specify policies to address unemployment and underemployment.

Protests continued outside the Batasang Pambansa Complex, headquarters of the house of representatives of the Philippines, during the addresses as demonstrators expressed their disappointment with policies of the Duterte administration.

Anadolu Agency