Duterte: Don’t threaten me with probe; Am willing to rot in jail
Despite rising global criticisms against extrajudicial killings and rights abuses, President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday maintained that the relentless war on drugs will continue even if he lands in jail.
In a speech before the Filipino community in Brunei, Duterte told his critics, the International Criminal Court in particular, not to threaten him with an investigation.
“They keep on threatening me on sending me to the International Criminal Court. Sinabi ko na nga, I am willing to rot in jail for the Filipino. Hindi ba ninyo maintindihan ‘yan (Can’t you understand that)? So don’t keep threatening or intimidating… calling my attention. Napaka-corny mo naman (It’s really corny),” Duterte said.
“I find this ridiculous. How can you send to prison a President declaring war against drugs,” he added.
ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensoud on Friday said her office would start monitoring the Philippines amid concerns over summary execution in Duterte’s bloody crackdown on illegal drugs, adding that the government “seems to condone such killings.” The Hague-based international court tries people accused of crimes against humanity.
Duterte admitted that there were indeed extrajudicial killings in the country but denied that they were sanctioned by the government.
“Alam mo kasi, huwag tayong magbolahan. ‘Yung iba talaga diyan, pinatay talaga, salvage. ‘Yan ang tinatawag na salvage o extrajudicial killing. I can’t say there was none. Meron. Pero kung sinabi mong state-sponsored killing, order ko na patayin ‘yan, kalokohan ‘yan,” he said.
(You know, let’s not fool each other. The others were really killed. That’s what’s you call “salvage” or extrajudicial killing. I can’t say there was none. There really were. But if you say they’re state-sponsored killing, that it’s my order to kill them, then that’s nonsense.)
The President reiterated his previous remarks that there was nothing wrong with threatening to kill criminals, as he belittled the intellect and knowledge of the law of human rights advocates, to the crowd’s cheer.
“What is wrong with the statement, ‘Do not destroy my country because I will kill you. Do not destroy the youth of the land and deprive us of a brighter tomorrow for the future generation.’ What is wrong there? Human rights? Kaya ako nagmumura kasi napaka-b*** naman nila (That’s why I’m swearing because they’re fools),” Duterte said.
“Hindi ako galit sa kanila (I’m not angry at them), pero what I’m trying to say is I’m totally exasperated na hindi nila alam ang batas na (they don’t know the law that) it is not a crime even for a civilian Filipino walking on the streets to say, ‘I hate the criminals. I hope they die. I will kill them if I catch them.’ Perfectly alright. That statement is in defense of my country and people,” he added.
The United Nations, the United States, and the European Union have all raised alarm over the spate of killings in the country and were at the receiving end of Duterte’s expletive-laced tirades.
As of Oct. 14, the Inquirer’s “Kill List” notes 1,325 drug-related deaths since June 30 or after Duterte took office. JE/rga
READ: THE KILL LIST
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