MANILA, Philippines – If politicians or their bodyguards who insist on carrying guns during the election season get shot, President Rodrigo Duterte said he would be ready to take responsibility for their deaths.
This was his way of warning them from flouting the gun ban for the upcoming 2019 midterm elections.
"I will not allow anybody strapping around with an armalite. That's really prohibited and if you pass a checkpoint and you do not stop and there's a warning shot, if you think you're a goddamn big-time mayor, if you die, I will say I was the one who ordered it," said Duterte on Monday, September 17.
He was speaking at a situation briefing on the effects of Typhoon Ompong (international name Mangkhut) in La Trinidad, Benguet.
Duterte said politicians would do well not to underestimate his government's power to enforce the gun ban. The deaths of 3 or 4 mayors should cure them of their complacency, he said.
"As a matter of fact I said it in Baguio, shoot…You think I cannot enforce it. May apat, tatlong mayor namatay diyan, sunod lahat 'yan (If 4, 3 mayors get killed, everyone will follow)," said Duterte.
He again promised "clean" elections next year, even joking that, for the sake of fairness, he would order the killing, not just of the opposing candidates, but his own bets.
"Unahin mo yung kapartido ko. Shoot him first para walang masabi (Target my partymate first. Shoot him first so one will criticize). But be sure to shoot the second one, the opponent also," said Duterte. – Rappler.com
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.