DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President-elect Rodrigo Duterte plans to offer P3 million ($64,000) for the capture or death of drug lords.
"May P3 million ako sa mga druglords (I have a bounty of P3 million for drug lords)," said the tough-talking Duterte during a press conference on Tuesday, May 31.
Duterte, who has promised to suppress the spread of drugs in 3 to 6 months, said he will issue a "dead or alive order" to law enforcers.
"I’m not saying you kill them but the order is 'dead or alive,'" he said.
The soon-to-be president was quick to add that law enforcers would still be required to abide by the law in fulfilling his commands.
"They are lectured upon and they learn a lot, it’s a subject. When to kill and when not to kill. When is it legal to kill, when is it unlawful to take another man’s life," he said.
"Pagka sinabi kong dead or alive. Alam nila kung tumaas ang kamay, talagang alive 'yan. Pagka lumaban, edi dead 'yan," he added.
(When I say 'dead or alive,' they know that if the criminal raises his hands to surrender, they're alive. If they fight, they are dead.)
Duterte said he would give the bounty money to the National Bureau of Investigation.
Lesser bounties will be offered for smaller fish.
"Itong terrorizing, supervising na dorogista, you get about P2 million. Kung sa second echelon lang 'yan, P1 million...Ordinaryo, P50,000," he said.
(For supervising drug lords, you get about P2 million. If from the second echelon only, P1 million...If ordinary, P50,000.)
Duterte, however, did not mention how big the pot for the bounty will be.
The president-elect says he already has a source of funds for the bounty, hinting that he will get them from remaining campaign funds.
"There’s enough money left. I do not want to get hold of it for too long. Basta may pera at hindi ko ninakaw. 'Yan ang gamitin ko (There is money, and I didn't steal it. That's what I'll use). I’ll dispose of that money," he said.
Duterte ended his opening statement at the press conference with a warning to druglords: "Do not destroy my country beacuse I will kill you. Do not destroy the youth of the land, our children, because I will kill you."
Before the press conference, Duterte's top choice for Philippine National Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa said the 3 to 6 month deadline for suppression of drug crimes is "attainable."
Watch the first part of the press conference in the video below:
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.