Duterte on criminals: ‘Kill all of them’
DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Mayor Rodrigo Duterte minced no words in revealing the city government’s secret in keeping a peace and order regimen that had earned for the city the tag of one of the world’s safest—make criminals extinct by killing them.
Duterte, known for talking tough against criminality and backing up his words with action, said his administration has been unwavering in its stand against criminality.
“You rape a child in my city?,” said Duterte in a speech before more than 200 delegates at the first national convention of the Workplace Advocates on Safety in the Philippines here. “I will kill you, I have no problem with that,” he said.
“You commit robbery and rape your victim? I will kill you,” he said.
“We’re the ninth safest city,” he added. “How do you think I did it? How did I reach that title among the world’s safest cities?” he continued.
“Kill them all (criminals),” he said, eliciting gasps and loud applause from his audience.
Davao City had been tagged as the world’s ninth safest city by the crowd-sourcing site www.numbeo.com.
Duterte said even then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now detained on plunder and election sabotage cases, despite all her faults, had sought him out as peace and order adviser during her term to replicate the best practices of Davao City.
He recounted telling Arroyo that going tough on criminals is key to peace and order.
“But the best practices in the city, ma’am, are the killings (of criminals),” Duterte recounted telling the former President.
He said he did not care if the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) filed cases against him in court for his extrajudicial solutions to criminality.
The CHR has repeatedly accused Duterte of violating human rights by tolerating the vigilante group Davao Death Squad that had been linked to the summary executions, gangland-style, of suspected criminals, mostly drug suspects, in the city.
Duterte has repeatedly denied any link with the death squad and raised doubts over its existence.
Ready for jail
“Why should I be afraid to go to prison?” said Duterte. He asked the delegates, mostly safety officers of big corporations and owners of companies, to choose the best candidate for President in 2016 but added he does not covet the position.
He said the peace and order situation in the country presents the same problems and no new solutions are being planned, except for a suspension in the implementation of a law that allows death penalty for heinous crimes.
This, he said, had emboldened criminals.
He said the concept of human rights applying to criminals is a Western one which should not have been adopted in the country.
“When you start to be soft in this country and allow Western thoughts to seep in, that’s when you start to have problems,” he said.
He said Western governments “want to rehabilitate instead of just killing the idiots (criminals).” Germelina Lacorte, Inquirer Mindanao
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.