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What’s wrong with killing? Duterte defends death threats

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President Rodrigo Duterte has defended the death threats he regularly makes against criminals, saying it’s part of his duty to protect the country.

In a speech at an event of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Thursday (January 11), Duterte said he has been threatening to kill criminals since he was mayor of Davao City.

“So when I became President, ganun rin ako. ‘I’m trying to build a country. Do not mess up with it because if you continue these things and you’re destroying my country, I’ll simply kill you. And if you continue to propagate shabu, you might lose your funds or your life,'” he recalled.

Duterte said he has never denied threatening to kill criminals even though the statement has drawn alarm from human rights advocates.

“And assuming it to be wrong, kindly point out to me where is the wrong there? If I kill you trying to destroy my country, can I not?” he asked.

Duterte said that if human rights advocates are concerned about protecting people, he is focused on looking after the country’s welfare.

“So ‘pag hindi tayo nagkaintindihan diyan… if you do not, still cannot — until now, it’s one year almost sobra, hence. If that does not get into your gray matter between the ears, then I’m sorry for you,” he said.