MANILA, Philippines - President Duterte yesterday urged mayors involved in the illegal drug trade to resign or else he would confront them and kill them.
“As long as I’m President, these big shabu dealers will really die… tatawagin ko iyong mga mayors, i-lock ko, no… kami-kami lang. Pangalan mo diyan mayor, p***ina ‘pag nandiyan iyong pangalan mo, may problema ka. Talagang papatayin kita (I will call the mayors, lock them in. Son of a b****, your name is there, you have a problem. I will kill you),” Duterte said in a speech delivered before new appointees in Malacañang.
Duterte was referring to his thick list of incumbent and former officials with alleged links to illegal drugs.
“Either you resign or make a clean breath of everything, come up with a clean nose and we’ll talk. I might go down in history as the butcher. Eh bahala kayo (It’s up to you),” he added.
Duterte stressed that as President, he would not allow the Philippines to be controlled by drug lords.
“So we have a purpose. What? To serve government, to serve the people. What else is there to talk about here, except service to the people. The people should not be shortchanged. We are being paid, we feed our families with the salary we get… but not the way I would present it to the mayors because it would be a bit brutal,” he said.
Duterte previously said that the drug list submitted to him by security forces contains the names of about 2,000 mayors, governors, congressmen and barangay chairmen.
While he claimed that he does not endorse extralegal killing, Duterte could not help but joke about it.
While he was talking about the credentials of his Cabinet members, the President quipped: “Wala akong maipagyabang. Kaya dinadaan ko na lang sa extrajudicial killing. Wala akong credential na maipagyabang eh (I don’t have anything to brag about so I just resort to extrajudicial killings. I don’t have credentials to be proud of).”
But in the same speech, Duterte reiterated that the police should defend themselves if they think that their life is in danger.
“Go out and hunt for them. Arrest them if still possible. If not, then if it presents a danger to you, puts up a violent resistance, jeopardizing your life – shoot. That has always been my order,” he said.
The President maintained though that he did not ask the security forces to obey illegal orders.
“Ask any policeman if I ordered him to kill (Sen. Leila) de Lima or kill anyone. I never ordered, I just said – remember that I declared war, I did not declare just any police punitive action. No, no, far from it,” he said.
De Lima, a vocal critic of Duterte’s war on drugs, has been accused of receiving millions in campaign funds from drug lords. The senator has denied the allegations, dismissing them as attempts to assassinate her character.
The United Nations, United States, European Union and human rights groups have scored Duterte for the spate of killings linked to his war on drugs and have asked him to ensure that the rule of law is respected all the time.
Duterte has denied the allegation and even described extrajudicial killing as “unmanly.”
More than 6,000 people have died since Duterte assumed the presidency in June.
Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa hopes that the country would be drug-free before 2017 ends.
Dela Rosa vowed to continue to intensify the campaign against illegal drugs and the drop in the number of deaths related to it does not be mean the PNP is slowing down.
The STAR reported that the number of suspected drug offenders who were shot dead allegedly after trying to fight it out with police dropped to an average of five persons a day during the first eight days of 2017.
Based on statistics provided by the PNP, there were 41 drug personalities killed from Dec. 31 to Jan. 8, or an average of 5.12 persons daily.
The PNP said the latest update on Project Double Barrel Alpha from July 1, 2016 to Jan. 8, 2017 indicated that 2,208 drug pushers and users were killed in alleged shootouts with policemen. The figure was higher by 41 compared to the report from July 1 to Dec. 31.
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Oscar Albayalde directed the five district directors and 38 station commanders in Metro Manila to prepare the list of at least 450,000 drug pushers and users.
Albayalde said the police commanders should submit their list of targets as soon as possible as part of Oplan Tokhang.
The list submitted by the police districts and stations would be subjected for validation by Senior Supt. Eleazar Matta, NCRPO’s intelligence chief, said Albayalde.
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