Rodrigo Duterte: Shoot a drug dealer, get a medal

The Philippines' president-elect has urged citizens with guns to shoot and kill drug dealers.

    Duterte will be sworn in as the new Philippines president on June 30 [Cerilo Ebrano/EPA]
    Duterte will be sworn in as the new Philippines president on June 30 [Cerilo Ebrano/EPA]

    The Philippines' President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has encouraged the public to go after drug dealers, urging citizens with guns to shoot and kill them. 

    In a nationally televised speech late on Saturday, Duterte, who will be sworn in on June 30, told a huge crowd in the southern city of Davao that he will offer huge bounties to those who turn in drug lords - dead or alive.

    "Please feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have the gun - you have my support," Duterte said.

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    If a drug dealer resists arrest or refuses to be brought to a police station and threatens a citizen with a gun or a knife, "you can kill him", Duterte said.

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    "Shoot him and I'll give you a medal."

    He also said  that drug addicts could not be rehabilitated and warned, "If you are involved in drugs, I will kill you. You son of a whore, I will really kill you."

    'A bloody war'

    Duterte, who won the May 9 vote, based his successful election campaign strategy on a pledge to end crime within three to six months of being elected.

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    Speaking on Saturday, he reiterated that his anti-crime campaign would be "a bloody war" and would large sums of money for slain drug lords. 

    "I will pay, for a drug lord: five million [pesos] ($107,000) if he is dead. If he is alive, only 4.999 million," he laughed.

    He did not say how a private citizen could identify suspects.

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    The 71-year-old has been previously accused of running vigilante "death squads" during his more than two decades as mayor of Davao, a city of about two million people that he says he has turned into one of the nations safest.

    Human rights watchdogs have expressed alarm that Duterte's anti-crime drive may lead to widespread rights violations.

    Duterte and other Filipino officials have previously brushed aside warnings from human rights groups about the dangers of "vigilante justice".

    Rodrigo Duterte: Guns, goons and the presidency

    SOURCE: Agencies


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