Duterte didn't say he 'personally killed' – Andanar
SINGAPORE – Did President Rodrigo Duterte really admit to killing criminals personally in Davao City? According to Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, the media got it wrong.
"I reviewed the tape and he didn't say that he personally killed. He said he goes around Davao looking for an encounter, a chance encounter with these criminals," said Andanar on Thursday, December 15, during a chance interview in Singapore.
Duterte and Cabinet officials, along with Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, are in the Lion City for a state visit.
"And if there is an encounter that occurred, if you are the mayor, if you are the person of authority, based on our laws, if your life is in danger then you can very well defend yourself," continued Andanar.
Asked what Duterte means by his frequent statements on killing, Andanar said it's the President's "style" to talk in a way that intimidates criminals.
He advised media and the public not to take Duterte's words literally.
"You know very well he tends to speak in an aggressive way. Since he was the mayor he speaks like that but you should not take everything literally," said Andanar.
By now, he said, journalists covering Duterte since his oath-taking should be familiar with his communication style.
"And you know already since you’ve been covering the President for more than 5 months that that is really the style of the President," Andanar added.
During a Wallace Business Forum event on December 12, Duterte said: "I know it because – I am not trying to pull my own chair – in Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the [police] that if I can do it, why can't you?"
"I go around in Davao [on] a big bike and I would just patrol the streets and looking for trouble. I was really looking for an encounter to kill," he added.
Senator Leila de Lima, Duterte's fiercest critic in Congress, has said he can be impeached for his supposed admission of personally killing criminals. – Rappler.com