By Genalyn Kabiling
Killings are necessary to maintain peace and order in a city, President Duterte recently said amid his relentless crackdown on the illegal drug trade.
The President said around 600 persons were killed when he was mayor of Davao City but he denied ordering the murder of a person begging for his life.
“Hindi ninyo ako kilala. Tsaka ang narinig ninyo, ‘yang extrajudicial killing sa Davao [You don’t know me and you’ve just heard about the extrajudicial killing in Davao] Look at Davao now. I invested a lot. Lives? Yes. You have to kill to make your city peaceful,” the President said during the launch of new Overseas Filipino Bank in Manila.
“In my 23 years as mayor, magsabi ka mga 600 meron. Pero I assure you ngayon, nakikinig, it was all legit [In my 23 years as mayor, you can say around 600 but I assure you that it was all legit],” he said.
The tough-talking President admitted that there are people “talagang buhayin mo [you must let live] and others who “talagang patayin mo [you must really kill.]”
“The rule there is, you ask forgiveness but never a permission… But I never asked permission,” he said.
The President, however, clarified he has not ordered the murder of a crime suspect who has surrendered. He said it would not be a manly trait if he allows this to happen.
“I never ordered the killing of anybody kneeling in front of me. I never harmed anybody even the toughest idiot na criminal with his hands outstretched,” he said.
The President, meantime, vowed to continue his anti-drug campaign will continue despite criticisms from human rights groups on alleged rights abuses.
He explained that he was angry with the illegal drug trade because it destroys the Filipino family.
“You are destroying my country so when I was a mayor, I said simply, “Do not destroy my city because I will kill you. Do not destroy the youth of my land because we need them,'” he said.
Duterte also strongly denied allegations that 10,000 persons have been killed in his campaign against illegal drugs.
“Kung totoo ‘yang 10,000 bilyonaryo na lahat ‘yang punerarya ng Pilipinas. Karami niyan [If the 10,000 figure is true, all funeral parlors in the Philippines would now be billionaires by now. That’s too much],” he said.
The President has been widely criticized here and abroad for the alleged extrajudicial killings and other abuses by state forces carrying out the war on illegal drugs.
Duterte eventually directed the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to lead the government’s anti-drug campaign following public uproar over the abuses.
But the President later decided to bring back the police to help in the anti-drug war after he was dissatisfied with the output of PDEA.