The Philippine president-elect has encouraged the public to help him in his war against crime, urging citizens with guns to shoot and kill drug dealers who resist arrest and fight back in their neighborhoods.
In a nationally televised speech late Saturday, Rodrigo Duterte told a huge crowd in the southern city of Davao that Filipinos who help him battle crime will be rewarded.
“Please feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have the gun — you have my support,” Duterte said, warning of an extensive illegal drug trade that involves even the country's police.
If a drug dealer resists arrest or refuses to be brought to a police station and threatens a citizen with a gun or a knife, “you can kill him,” Duterte said. “Shoot him and I'll give you a medal.”
The 71-year-old Duterte won the May 9 presidential election on a bold promise to end crime and corruption within six months of the start of his presidency. That vow resonated among crime-weary Filipinos, though police officials considered it campaign rhetoric that was impossible to accomplish.
Human rights watchdogs have expressed alarm that his anti-crime drive may lead to widespread rights violations.
Duterte, a longtime Davao mayor, has been suspected of playing a role in many killings of suspected criminals in his city by motorcycle-riding assassins known as the “Davao death squads,” but human rights watchdogs say he has not been criminally charged because nobody has dared to testify against him in court.
In his speech on Saturday, Duterte asked three police generals based in the main national police camp in the capital to resign for involvement in crimes that he did not specify. He threatened to humiliate them in public if they did not quit and said he would order a review of dismissed criminal cases of active policemen, suggesting some may have bribed their way back onto the force.
“If you're still into drugs, I will kill you, don't take this as a joke. I'm not trying to make you laugh, son of a bitch, I will really kill you,” Duterte said to loud jeers and applause.
Source: L.A. Times, June 5, 2016
Philippine president-elect says 'corrupt' journalists will be killed
|Philippine National Police|
You won’t be harmed if you don’t do anything wrong, says Rodrigo Duterte, pledging to end crime in six months by assassinating criminals
The Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte said corrupt journalists were legitimate targets of assassination, as he amped up his controversial anti-crime crusade with offers of rewards for killing drug traffickers.
Duterte won this month’s elections by a landslide largely due to an explosive law-and-order platform in which he pledged to end crime within six months by killing tens of thousands of suspected criminals.
The foul-mouthed politician has launched a series of post-election tirades against criminals and repeated his vows to kill them – particularly drug traffickers, rapists and murderers. In a press conference called on Tuesday to announce the new cabinet, in his southern hometown of Davao, Duterte said journalists who took bribes or engaged in other corrupt activities also deserved to die.
“Just because you’re a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you’re a son of a bitch,” Duterte said when asked how he would address the problem of media killings in the Philippines, after a reporter was shot dead in Manila last week.
The Philippines is one of the most dangerous nations in the world for journalists, with 174 murdered since a chaotic and corruption-plagued democracy replaced the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos three decades ago. “Most of those killed, to be frank, have done something. You won’t be killed if you don’t do anything wrong,” Duterte said, adding that many journalists in the Philippines were corrupt.
Duterte also said freedom of expression provisions in the constitution did not necessarily protect a person from violent repercussions for defamation. “That can’t be just freedom of speech. The constitution can no longer help you if you disrespect a person,” he said.
Source: The Guardian, Agence France-Presse, May 31, 2016
Former Sen. Pimentel: Death penalty better than extrajudicial killings
Although he is against bringing back the death penalty, former Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said Sunday that it will likely pass and will be better than extrajudicial killings.
In an interview on radio dzBB, Pimentel said he believes convicted criminals should be made to pay for their crimes but should not be killed.
He said that because of Duterte's popularity and the perceived popularity of the call to reimpose the death penalty for heinous crimes, it is likely that Congress will pass a law to bring it back.
Pimentel stressed, though, that until a law is passed to bring back the death penalty, criminals should not be killed.
The Commission on Human Rights has said that it opposes the reimposition of the death penalty because it is cruel punishment that the 1987 Constitution prohibits, because doing so is counter to international conventions that the Philippines is party to, and is not an effective deterrent of crime.
Recent weeks have seen a rise in extrajudicial killings of people suspected, but not convicted, of being involved in crimes like drug trafficking.
'Charter change ASAP'
In the same interview, Pimentel, who has been an advocate of federalism even while he was a senator, said it would be best that moves to amend the 1987 Constitution are done in the early days of the Duterte administration.
He said that doing so would remove the perception that charter change is being done to remove term limits for elected officials, a charge that has accompanied proposals to amend the constitution in the past.
He said the amendents to the constitution should focus on giving proposed local state governments more autonomy from the central government in Manila.
Source: philstar.com, June 4, 2016