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Human rights is the ‘price to pay’ for safety–Duterte

/ 05:40 AM August 25, 2016
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President Rodrigo Duterte answers questions from reporters during his visit at the wake of P/Ins Mark Gil Garcia at the Rizal Provincial Police Office in Taytay Rizal on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

CAMP CAPINPIN, Rizal―In the war against drugs, it is a choice between the safety of the people or the lives of criminals, President Duterte said on Wednesday, as he once more defended his administration’s centerpiece program.

Amid mounting concerns over the increasing body count, Mr. Duterte said there was “always a price” to pay for safety, citing his experience in ridding the streets of his hometown Davao City of crime.

Addressing troops of the Philippine Army Jungle Fighters, Mr. Duterte recalled that when he was mayor of Davao, he warned criminals  that he would kill them if they did not leave his city.

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“Nothing is free in this life. There is always a price to pay,” Mr. Duterte said.

“These human rights, you choose: Is it the comfort and safety of the population or the lives of criminals?” he asked.

The government, he said, is supposed to protect the integrity of the republic and the safety of its citizens.

He said those killed in the campaign to rid the country of illegal drugs were only a small part of the population. And there is even no certainty that that their deaths were drug-related, he added.

“We are 104 million, you give me a s..t about―how many?―1,600 being killed there,” he said. “You’re not even sure how many of them died in an encounter, how many committed suicide, how many were killed out of anger.”

Illustrating his point that illegal drugs are destructive, Mr. Duterte recalled the experience of a friend of his whose child was raped and killed. The child had been a “shabu” addict, he said.

“Who would be happy with that? You work your ass to death, staking your life there, and this is what happened,” he said.

Mr. Duterte also cited rave deaths and said critics “just want to complain.”

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He has their back

The President told the soldiers to just do their work and he would take full responsibility.

“If you think there is a crime, shabu, and if you have to shoot them, shoot them. Just tell me the truth,” he said.

The Duterte administration’s war against drugs is coming under increasing national and international criticism as bodies continue to pile up.

More than 1,700 drug suspects have been killed by police or vigilantes since Mr. Duterte took office on June 30.

The Senate is conducting an investigation into extrajudicial  killings in Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs, and various human rights organizations, the United States and the United Nations have expressed concern over the killings.

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TAGS: Drug war, Duterte Administration, extrajudicial killings, Human rights, Nation, news
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