Palace: Duterte’s remarks to kill rights activists merely out of frustration
Not a threat, but an “expression of frustration.”
This was how Malacanang on Wednesday described President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks that he may order the killing of human-rights activists opposing his brutal war on drugs.
Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan assured the human rights community that Mr. Duterte did not intend to threaten individuals criticizing his take-no-prisoner strategy against the narcotics trade.
“We appeal that citizens decide on the President’s actions more than his talk,” Ablan told a Palace press briefing.
“I think his statement last Monday was just another expression of his frustration on the difficulty of running the country,” he added.
He said the President’s remarks was “not, in any way, a statement curtailing media or his critics.”
In a speech in Malacanang on Monday night, the President stressed the gravity of the country’s drug problem which, he claimed, has resulted to “narcopolitics” in the Philippines.
“The human rights (defenders) said I ordered the killings. I told them ‘OK. Let’s stop. We’ll let them (drug users) multiply so that when it’s harvest time, more people will die,” the President said at the inaugural switch-on of a coal-fired power plant.
“I will include you because you are the reason why their numbers swell,” he said in Filipino. TVJ
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.