MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday, December 11, again rejected allegations that killings being linked to his war on drugs are state-sponsored.
In a speech at the Belenismo sa Tarlac 2016 Awards in Tarlac City, the President denied ever ordering the police or the military to carry out summary executions.
"Ayaw kong pumatay. Nasasaktan akong pumatay ng Pilipino. Ayaw ko, pareho tayo. (I don't want Filipinos to get killed. It's painful for me to see Filipinos dead. I don't want that, like you.) ...Do you think I enjoy [that]?" Duterte said.
"I do not allow extrajudicial [killings]... We do not do that. It's a dirty job," he added. "At saka para kang hindi lalaki. Talian mo, balutin mo, it's a form of torture, binabalot ng plastik. Hindi trabaho ng pulis 'yan pati sundalo."
(And it's also as if you're not man enough. Tie up a victim, wrap him in plastic, it's a form of torture, wrapping in plastic. That's not the work of policemen or soldiers.)
The President reiterated that his marching orders are for cops to shoot only if suspects resist arrest or fight back. (READ: Shoot to kill? Duterte's statements on killing drug users)
"Hanapin mo sila, arestuhin mo kung kaya pa, pagka-lumaban at may armas ... that would place the life of the police or military man, pati siya madadamay sa kamatayan, unahan na ninyo. That's my order," he said.
(Find the suspects, arrest them, if they fight back and they have weapons that would place the life of the policeman or military man in danger, then fire at them. That's my order.)
"We will, I will address the problems of extrajudicial killing. It is not our job. Maniwala kayo (Believe me). Even before the elections. Please look back in the hands of time and you would notice that marami nang nagpatay-patayan (killings were rampant even then)," Duterte said. (READ: Duterte: We will investigate mysterious killings)
The President also said he cannot lose momentum in the fight against drugs, despite the criticism being thrown at him. (READ: Duterte hopeful war on drugs 'nearly over')
Senator Leila de Lima, one of Duterte's fiercest critics, earlier dubbed him "the father of all extrajudicial killings" and said he was a "murderer." De Lima's remarks came after Duterte vowed to protect police officers tagged in the murder of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr, who was linked to drugs by the President himself.
On Saturday, December 10 – International Human Rights Day – human rights activists across the country also condemned what they described as Duterte's "worsening human rights record."
"Duterte's remorseless extrajudicial killings in his crusade against drugs is unacceptable... Duterte has been using this campaign to sow fear among the people," the League of Filipino Students had said. – Rappler.com