Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Reveals His Only Sin…..Extrajudicial Killings
President Rodrigo Duterte has come out openly to admit to extrajudicial killings during a speech on Thursday, September 27, saying this is the only “sin” that he is guilty of.
“Ano kasalanan ko? Nagnakaw ba ako diyan ni piso? Did I prosecute somebody na pinakulong ko? Ang kasalan ko lang ‘yung extrajudicial killings,” he said during the oath taking of new Career Executive Service Officers in Malacañang. (meaning: What is my sin? Did I steal even one peso? Did I prosecute somebody who I ordered jailed? My sin is extrajudicial killings.)
He then inveighed against International Criminal Court (ICC) officials who are now examining if the tribunal has jurisdiction to investigate his administration’s bloody campaign against illegal drugs.
“That extrajudicial killing, these fools, especially the black person, whoever, I’ll hit the head of that prosecutor,” he said, apparently referring to ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
Duterte has led a two-year crackdown on drug users and dealers in his country that has resulted in thousands of deaths. According to the Daily Mail, the Philippine National Police estimates that 4,500 people have been killed and that the circumstances were all legitimate, but human rights groups say the number is likely more than 12,000.
The president has repeatedly denied that extrajudicial killings have been allowed under his rule. He said drug suspects were killed only when they fought back against police. In his speech Thursday, he said, “Four thousand deaths. When? Where? How? What did I use? Nothing,” Fox News reported.
President Duterte currently faces two complaints filed with International Criminal Court that allege he directed mass murders against his own people. Following the leader’s comments, Human Rights Watch urged the I.C.C. to speed up its inquiries, telling Fox News that Duterte’s “admission should erase any doubt about the culpability of the president.”
An attorney for the Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Romel Bagares told the Times that Duterte’s statements Thursday were “by far his most direct admission of being responsible for” the killings he’s accused of ordering.
“And I’m surprised there has been no retraction of any kind from the palace since he made them,” Bagares added. “I’m sure this would also be of extreme interest to the I.C.C.’s Office of the Trial Prosecutor now making a preliminary investigation of his drug war.”
Meanwhile, Duterte’s supporters have dismissed his comments, saying that he was not serious when he said he had ordered killings.
Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde told reporters at a press briefing,“The president said that out of frustration. It’s because there are no issues that could be thrown at him so it’s as if he said, ‘Alright, I’ll just admit it.’ So he said it out of frustration.”
According to Rappler.com, Albayalde himself was Metro Manila police chief when the incidence of drug-related killings, and killings during police anti-drugs operations intensified in the capital region.
Albayalde admitted during the briefing that there are indeed cops who have gone rogue and killed drug suspects, but he emphasized that these killings are only few and not government-ordered and sanctioned.
“There is no order given to us whatsoever to kill even suspects,” Albayalde said.
He added in a mix of English and Filipino: “We admit that there are a few who were involved.”