By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte slammed the disturbing selling of children being practiced by some tribes in Mindanao, saying he will treat them like drug lords and leaving the rest to their imagination.
Duterte, in his speech during the 7th LGBT Davao’s yearend gathering in Davao City, made a strong stand against the act, saying he will hunt those responsible down to the ends of the world.
“There are some tribes in Mindanao and maybe in Visayas and Luzon, this practice of buying children. Huminto kayo diyan (Stop) or else I will treat you just like a drug lord. I’m not saying anything beyond that statement,” he said.
“I will take a strong stand against this. I will not tolerate it. I said, kayong mga kidnappers ‘pag nahuli ko kayo (if I catch you kidnappers), I will treat you just like a drug lord. Beyond that, you make your own guess,” he added.
According to Duterte, he cannot imagine someone being forced to grow up in a different family.
“Slavery must stop. I cannot imagine of a human being growing up in a family na hindi niya alam na hindi talaga siya taga-roon (and he does not know that he is really not from that place),” he said.
“Just imagine mag-kidnap ka diyan ng isang bata, ipabili mo doon sa ibang lugar (Just imagine, you kidnap a girl and then sell her), and this woman will grow up believing na talagang slave siya (that she really is a slave). And when she reaches puberty, during the menstrual period, after that she is ready for sexual abuse by the owner of the house,” he added.
“She has to suffer and be condemned to slavery for all of her life enduring pain and suffering,” he continued.
Duterte said he will put matters in his hands if this practice of selling children will not stop.
“Those are the things that are not acceptable to me. I will not tolerate it. You stop because ‘pag malaman ko (if I found out), I will pursue you to the ends of the world,” he said.
“And maybe just maybe, tatapusin ko ang problema para sa lahat. So ‘yan lang ang sinasabi ko (I will finish the problem for everybody. That’s all). It’s not a big deal but I cannot accept it,” he added.
Duterte, since the beginning of his presidency, has condemned the act of kidnapping, human trafficking, and slavery, saying these are tantamount to the selling of illegal drugs.
In a speech in Davao City in January 2017, Duterte said he has ordered the bombing of kidnapping groups at sea, even if their hostages end up dying in the process.
“Order ko talaga sa Navy, sa Coast Guard, basta nag-kidnap tapos trying to escape, pasabugin mo na silang lahat. Sabi nila, [may] hostage. Sorry, collateral damage (I ordered the Navy and the Coast Guard to bomb kidnappers who try to escape. If they say there are hostages, then sorry. They are collateral damage),” he said.
Duterte also earlier claimed that he has thrown out kidnappers out of a moving helicopter and will do the same to corrupt government officials if they do not change their ways.
“If you are corrupt I will fetch you with a helicopter and I will throw you out on the way to Manila,” Duterte said in a speech in December 2016.