Duterte: ‘Innovating’ rule of law may protect innocent from criminals
MANILA — President Duterte thinks “innovating” the rule of law may be necessary at times to protect the innocent people from criminals.
After raising the threat of lifting the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, Mr. Duterte said leaders like him were sometimes fazed by the harsh reality of choosing between upholding the rule of law or bending it to ensure peace and order.
Sharing his experiences as mayor of Davao City for over 20 years, he said he had to threaten criminals and drug pushers with harm as they were bringing in shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) to his city.
“I would like to follow the rule of law. It is (the) rules which make up the law. But when shabu was coming in strong and fast, we had to make a choice,” the President said in his speech at the anniversary of the National Bureau of Investigation on Monday.
“We innovate… the rule of law or we let our people suffer. That’s the choice,” he said. “The rule of law and the obedience (to) the law are just principles of the law and they are really good if everybody follows.”
Since some people had refused to respect the country’s system of laws, Mr. Duterte said “sometimes the rule of law becomes a stupid proposition.”
The concept is only “good if the rules are followed” by the people, according to Mr. Duterte, a former state prosecutor.
“For us who have been leaders for a time, we are now made to choose sometimes what to do. Either we do something to protect society or do something sometimes wrong to protect society,” he said.
“You obey the law, we in government are admonished to say ‘follow the rule of law’ and that’s what makes it hard because (if) you follow the rule of law, sometimes it could lead to perdition for people,” he lamented.
The President, who had been criticized for encouraging the killings of drug suspects, again vehemently denied that his administration was behind the deaths of 3,000 people in connection with his drug war. SFM/rga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.