Duterte admits killing 3 hostage-takers in Davao City
SINGAPORE – President Rodrigo Duterte admitted on Friday to killing three people, men who were responsible for taking hostage and killing an Australian missionary.
Duterte made the statement in an interview with reporters after his meeting with the Filipino community here at the Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo.
He was responding to a clarification on a speech he made earlier in which he said that the international media “were not wrong” in their stories that he has killed previously.
“It was not because I was walking around and I killed somebody,” he said. “It was actually an event that was covered by the TV and all. It was about a hostage-taking. And it was when they decided to return the victim, I was already down there waiting for them and it was covered by all TV networks in Davao.”
The President added:, “I said I killed about three of them. I don’t really know how many bullets from my gun went inside their bodies but it happened. and I said I can’t lie about it because killing people, kneeling down with their hands behind their backs. That’s all bullshit.”
Duterte was apparently referring to a three-day hostage taking at the Davao City Jail, which started on April 13, 1989. Felipe Pugoy and 15 members of his Wild Boys gang took advantage of the visit of members of the Joyful Assembly of God, a Protestant group, taking 15 of its members hostage, among them Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill. The incident ended with shots being fired, resulting in the death of five hostages, among them Hamill, and Pugoy and his gangmates.
Duterte was then Davao City mayor and part of the negotiating team.
On Friday, a Singaporean reporter asked Duterte if he would kill again as President, Mr. Duterte bluntly replied: “No, I will order (the killing). I said: ‘Go out and hunt for the drug guys. And it’s a virulent problem. Arrest them if it’s possible. Bbut if they offer violent resistance and you think, as a policeman, military man that you will also die, kill them.”
Questioned by a foreign reporter on his fitness to run the country, he pointed out that he was fit to be President because of the country’s drug problem, stressing: “I have a four million drug addicts in my country. That is not a joke. So when the United Nations and even Obama talked about it publicly, they were belittling, trivializing the problem because I said there are four million addicts in my country.”
He reiterated that the death of thousands of drug offenders could not be considered genocide by the International Criminal Court and that his anti-drug campaign would continue to the last day of his term – until all drug offenders were killed.
He denied he was dependent on drugs to relieve himself of his migraine. He said that he would only take pain relief medicine when it is prescribed.
“(There is) addiction only when there’s regularity, when you take it and there’s a monkey on your back. That’s addiction,” he said.
Duterte pointed out that he had a bad motorcycle spill and his injury had been causing him intermittent pain, showing off his right elbow which had been stitched up because of it. –ATM
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