DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte defended Friday the spate of drug-related killings in the country following his admission that he personally killed criminals in this city.
“If you are into drugs and destroy our youth, the next generation after us, I would hate it and I will kill you. Simple as that,” Duterte told a cheering Filipino crowd in Singapore.
Duterte, who served as Davao’s local chief executive for 23 years, also said, “look, it can never be a crime to say that ‘I will kill you if you destroy my country’,” adding, “That is a very legitimate statement.”
It can be recalled that Duterte, during a business gathering last Monday, admitted that he personally killed suspects.
“In Davao, I used to do it personally, just to show to the (police) that if I can do it, why can’t you?,” the Mindanawon president said.
“I go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike, and I would just patrol the streets and looking for trouble also. I’m really looking around for an encounter so I can kill,” he added.
On Friday, Vice President Leni Robredo perceived Duterte’s statement as such that “encourage a culture of impunity.”
“It is worrisome. I am worried of the kind of message that he delivers to the ordinary people more so to the law enforcement agencies. He should be mindful of his role as the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and he is also the boss of the PNP,” Robredo said in an interview.
“If we say that the Commander-In-Chief or our president…. is telling us that he is killing a person, we are encouraging a culture of impunity,” she added.
But Duterte maintained that he has no hands on the spate of extrajudicial killings in the country, saying that his order to police authorities was to hunt for drug suspects and “arrest them if it’s possible, but if they offer a violent resistance…then kill them.” (davaotoday.com)