Duterte to drug suspects: You want due process? Go to courts

Pia Ranada
Duterte to drug suspects: You want due process? Go to courts
The Philippine president says it's not his job to give due process to drug suspects

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte brushed away demands that he give due process to police accused of involvement in the drug trade, as well as other drug suspects, saying that job falls squarely on the shoulders of the judiciary.

“Anong due process? Due process, ulol, kung nasa korte ka na. Kung sabihin, ‘We were not given by the President, due process.’ Eh tarantado ka pala eh. Hindi ako korte,” he said during an expletive-studded speech before fellow alumni of the San Beda Law School on Thursday night, July 14.

(What due process? Due process, stupid, once you’re in court. They say, ‘We were not given due process by the President.’ You’re crazy. I’m not the court.)

Duterte made the statement at a testiomonial reception for him organized by San Beda Law School alumni at Club Filipino in San Juan.

Watch his speech here:

He reiterated that his decision to reveal the identifies of supposed drug-tainted police generals prior to any investigation, was borne out of a “sacred duty to tell the Filipino the state of things in this country and simply the truth, period.”

Duterte said others cannot expect him to ensure due process is followed in the war on drugs.

“Why should I give you due process? I cannot give you a lawyer. I cannot handle a proceeding or proceedings against you,” he said.

He narrated a bizarre scenario of what he might do if he were to entertain demands for due process.

Tawagin ko kayo sa Malacañang? Murahin ko kayo doon? Tapos barilin ko kayo? Huwag. Due process, due process – hingiin mo ‘yan sa korte,” he seemed to say sarcastically.

(I’ll summon you to Malacañang? I’ll curse at you there? Then I’ll shoot you? No. Due process, due process – ask that from the courts.)

In his inauguration speech, Duterte vowed to uphold due process as he fulfills his promise to suppress crime, drugs, and corruption in 3 to 6 months.

“My adherence to due process and the rule of law is uncompromising,” he said.

Human rights groups slammed Duterte when he was Davao City mayor for seeming to condone or tolerate extrajudicial killings of petty criminals in the city.

A government probe into his involvement in the vigilante group, the Davao Death Squad, was stopped in late May as the sole witness left the government’s witness protection program, reportedly out of fear of Duterte. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.