Duterte: Shoot-to-kill order ‘certainly moral’
DAVAO CITY, Philippines—“It’s legal, it’s proper, and certainly, it’s moral,” said Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as he defended the shoot-to-kill order he gave to the police for at least 10 kidnapping suspects who had been lured to this city by their victims.
Duterte said he would protect the police at all costs and was willing to go to jail to defend them.
“They will have my protection, my assistance and we will go to jail together,” Duterte said.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte have been quoted as criticizing the way Duterte had handled the kidnapping case, which led to the killing of three suspects.
“Those (videos) shown on TV were good entertainment, but to us lawyers they are pure hogwash,” Duterte said of a video allegedly showing a policeman shooting a suspect to finish him off.
“You expect too much from the police,” Duterte said. “He’s about to lose his life, facing dangerous criminals and yet, you expect equanimity as if it’s a yoga exercise?” he said.
“If you come here with an M-16 and a grenade, you want war,” Duterte said.
“The shoot-to-kill order is to render the criminals immobile,” he said.
Duterte said he will not investigate the killing of the three kidnapping suspects because he will just end up investigating himself.
He brushed aside criticism from CHR Chair Etta Rosales and Valte, saying, “I will not argue with two ladies, we can spend the whole year debating, but we are charged with protecting innocent lives against criminals.”
“The operation of the police was legitimate, and all was legal and the order and policy of the city government to shoot armed and dangerous criminals stand,” Duterte said.
“It’s not good for me to argue and debate with the two ladies but I’m addressing this explanation to the public, to whom this explanation belonged: The shoot-to-kill order is a legitimate tool of government to combat lawlessness,” he said.
He also dared those who have the footage of alleged excessive use of force by the city police to file a case in court. “We can argue for one year. You and all your bleeding hearts for criminals, but we are here charged with protecting the lives of innocent people,” Duterte said.
He said he is worried about “collateral damage” during the operation, which happened in the heart of the city, and was thankful no civilian was hurt.
“I would rather see dead criminals than innocent civilians on the streets,” he said.
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