Duterte: I didn’t kill anyone, but past loves in my heart
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte attempted to make light of accusations that crimes against humanity were committed under his term, saying he did not kill anyone but past loves in his heart.
Duterte, during his pre-recorded address on Wednesday, said that he never ordered the police to summarily execute drug suspects, a central point of allegations that extra-judicial killings took place during the conduct of the government’s war against illegal drugs.
Duterte’s statements came a day after the International Criminal Court (ICC), which received a complaint filed against him in 2018, said there is sufficient basis to believe that crimes against humanity were committed during the war against illegal drugs in the Philippines.
“May mga pulis na talagang […] pero deretso salvage na gano’n? Wala akong inutos na gano’n. Remember in all of my utterances, ang galit ko ‘yan, when I say ‘do not destroy my country the Republic of the Philippines who elected me as President […] because I will kill you’,” he said, referring to his usual speech against the drug menace in the country.
(There are police who are (unruly). But to tell them to salvage people? I did not give such orders. Remember, in all of my utterances, what I said I am angry at was when I say ‘Do not destroy my country the Republic of the Philippines who elected me as President […] because I will kill you’.)
“Di ko sinabing the MPD (Manila Police District) will kill you, the military will (kill you), I said I will kill you. Ang problema wala pa akong pinatay, marami ako dito sa puso ko, marami akong patay na pag-ibig, wala akong pinatay na tao,” he said in jest.
(I did not say the MPD will kill you, the military will kill you; I said I will kill you. But the problem is that I have not killed anyone, I have killed past loves. I did not kill any person.)
In the enforcement of the drug war — a key platform of Duterte’s government — at least 5,500 drug suspects were said to have been killed while allegedly resisting arrest.
However, doubts have been raised over the legitimacy of the reports, especially following claims that some of those who died were not even drug users or pushers — just like the case of 17-year-old student Kian delos Santos.
The court decision on Santos’ case — the only drug war death so far where police officers were convicted of murder — said that the minor was not the original target of the police operation in Caloocan. Delos Santos was shot dead despite having already surrendered as he pleaded with the officers not to shoot him.
Duterte remained confident that whatever may happen, it is clear that he never had ordered the police to kill anyone.
“Gano’n ‘yan, eh ‘yang human rights, kahit saan tayo magpunta. Tignan mo, i-review mo lahat, enforce the law in accordance with what you learned in the training stage of your being a law enforcer. Walang gagong magsabi na patayin mo ‘yan,” he said.
(That’s what it is, so you with the human rights, anywhere we go, you review everything, what I said was to enforce the law in accordance with what you learned in the training stage of your being a law enforcer. Nobody is stupid to order the killing of people.)
“Wala akong sinabi na patayin ninyo. Pero sabi ko ito, go out and destroy the apparatus, ‘yan. ‘Pagka nagkabarilan dyan in destroying the apparatus, goodbye ka,” he added.
(I did not order killings. But what I said, go out and destroy the apparatus. That’s the difference, if there is a shootout while they are destroying the apparatus, then it is goodbye for you.)
The issue of whether Duterte has killed someone, or has not even gunned down anyone, is a bit perplexing to people. Duterte previously said that he personally killed drug suspects in Davao City back when he was city mayor, to show the police that they could also enforce such regulations.
It is not clear whether these statements were said in jest to lighten up the mood of his speeches.
But he also vowed several times that he has never killed anyone, saying that he adheres to the rule of law. Malacañang also noted that it might just be borne out of a colorful manner of speaking for Duterte, known for his speeches and declarations that have roused popular support.
Earlier, President Duterte called the ICC Office of the Prosecutor ‘fools’ for issuing the findings against him. He said that the ICC was not prepared and did not read properly before making that declaration.
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