Filipinos who ‘help me in the bloody war against criminality would be rewarded. “Please feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have the gun, you have my support”’
Long suspected of playing a role in vigilante killings of suspected criminals by motorcycle-riding assassins – the “Davao death squads”, but never been charged because people are too scared to testify against him in court.
Emboldened drug cartel activities are on the rise in the Philippines, with the drug gangs openly engaging in fire fights with the policemen in the streets.
When it comes to Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte, there is just no end to the bombast and stridence.
Over the weekend he stirred even more controversy in his anti-crime crusade with offers of rewards for killing drug traffickers. The Philippine president-elect has urged citizens with guns to shoot and kill drug dealers who resist arrest and fight back. Addressing a gathering of supporters celebrating his victory at the polls, late on Saturday in the southern city of Davao, the controversial former soldier and the city’s ex-mayor urged Filipinos to take matters into their hands stating that those who help him in the bloody war against crime and corruption would be rewarded.
The authorities so far, don’t appear to be winning the mushrooming illegal drug trade
“Please feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have the gun, you have my support,” Duterte said in his speech, which was televised nationally.
According to him there is a collusion between the criminals and corrupt elements of the police which is enabling the extensive illegal drugs trade in the country. The soon to be president stated that if a drug dealer resisted arrest or refused to be brought to a police station and instead threatened a citizen with a gun or knife, “you can kill him”, Duterte “Shoot him and I’ll give you a medal.”
Rodrigo Duterte: Apply ‘jungle justice’ if the police fail to respond and I will reward you
Rodrigo Duterte, has made a trademark of his bombastic rhetoric and brash public personae. During the election campaigns, he made a tasteless joke about the rape and killing of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill, which caused an uproar in the phillipines and international consternation. More recently, he stated that corrupt journalists were legitimate targets of assassination.
On another occasion, he suggested three police generals based in the national police camp in metropolitan Manila should resign for involvement in crimes, although he did not specify what the crimes were. He has threatened to humiliate them in public if they fail to resign from the police force, vowing he would rid the force of corrupt officers.
His utterances has only served to reinforce the widespread suspicion that he has had a hand in several assisinations of suspected criminals by motorcycle-riding assassins known as the “Davao death squads”. However international observers say he has never been indicted because people are too scared to testify against him in court.