Duterte tells Church, HRW he’s responsible for war on drugs
President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said that he never denied giving orders on drug operations and will take full responsibility of its outcome following the accusations of Human Rights Watch (HRW) of him being criminally liable for the thousands of killings linked to the government’s war on drugs.
“Human rights, pumunta ka nga dito, pinapasagot mo ako (Come here, (Human Rights Watch), if you really want me to respond), I never denied that I ordered the operations. I declared war,” Duterte said.
“Bakit nila (sinasabing) it’s illegitimate? Bakit, masama bang sabihin na, papatay ako ng tao para sa bayan ko (Why are they saying it’s illegitimate? Why, is it wrong to say that I will kill for my country)? Tell me, is there a crime? It is a warning actually to stop,” he further explained.
Duterte made the statement to reporters shortly after his visit at the Army’s 4th Infantry Division headquarters in Cagayan de Oro City.
He cited that the number of illegal drug users and peddlers who surrendered or personally appeared before authorities reached more than one million last December, and said that he would continue to fight against people who are involved with illegal drugs to the very last day of his term.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch on Thursday released a 124-page report, titled “License to Kill,” which gave an overview of Duterte’s war on drugs and detailed specific cases of extrajudicial killings possibly perpetrated by the police, and accused Duterte of being accountable for a “human rights calamity.”
He challenged the human rights group and the church to go to the police and ask for a list of drug suspects and convince them to stop using the illegal substance.
“Why don’t you just go around? Take pictures or motion cameras para makita ninyo (videos so you may see),” he said.
“Ikutin nila ‘yung mga parish nila, pati ‘yung Human Rights. ‘Pag binitawan ninyo ang shabu tonight (They can go around their parishes together with the Human Rights Watch. If these people stop using shabu tonight), tomorrow I can assure you no more killings connected with drugs,” he added.
Duterte said that he never denied giving orders to the police and military to go after drug suspects and that he will take full responsibility—legal or otherwise—for that order.
“Lahat ‘yung namatay sa engkwentro, sagot ko ‘yun, ako ang magpakulong doon. Klaro ‘yan. Huwag mo akong bintangan na kung sino-sinong pinatay diyan na — akin ‘yun (All those who died in the encounters, I am answerable for them. I may be jailed for them. That’s clear. Do not accuse me of just killing people…I will be answerable to that). You know, I answer for my deeds or misdeeds if you may,” he said.
“Bakit ko tatalikuran ‘yan? Hiningi ko ‘yan, mahirap na trabaho (Why will I evade that? I wanted that job difficult as it may). I was the one who called it,” he added. IDL
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