Duterte to Russians: The issue in the Philippines is they have a president who is a murderer
President Rodrigo Duterte went out of his way in Russia to erase the worldwide perception that he was a bloodthirsty leader who killed thousands in the Philippines.
In a Russian forum with President Vladimir Putin as the main guest, Duterte was adamant that he did not encourage extrajudicial killings. “People say that my pronouncements actually encourage everybody to kill the drug lords and drug addicts. You know, frankly, I would be happy to — if that things happened.. (but) I have no universal right to destroy a fellow human being. I do not allow the military to shoot a person hogtied or with his stretched hand in surrender,” said Duterte.
“This has been the issue in the Philippines, that they have a President who’s a murderer. I assure you. I have a religion… I must end by just disabusing the minds of people. I am not a killer… I have yet to kill one human being. When I say I will kill you, well, that’s a statement coming from the mouth of a President,” he added.
Duterte explained that his bloody war on drugs was necessary after the two presidents before him – Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Noy Aquino – allowed to flourish and make the Philippines a narco-state.
“You know, during the time of two presidents ago, we were told by the United States itself that if we do not take care, if we do not watch out, our country will be swallowed by drugs. And it came to pass with
— about two presidents. And we saw mayors, city mayors, and the
chairman of the most basic unit of government, 50,000 into drugs. And
when I took over, I found out about nine generals were involved in the
trafficking of drugs,” he said. .
“I said I’m not only fighting corruption from the inside of
government. I was fighting corrupt — corruption and the trafficking
of drugs even in my government. And that is why I had to do something
very fast,” he added.
Duterte explained that he wanted the police and military to be
ruthless in the drug war to show that his government was in control.
“I told them that the only way that you can kill a criminal, the drug
lords and the addicts is when your life is in danger. So shoot first
before you die because if I go to the scene of the crime and I see
that you are the one dying, I will kick you and finish you off for
being stupid. Do not allow government to be weakened by such. You have
to impose order. And so that is what really bugs me,” he said.
Duterte joked that he was a “killer” but of a different kind
“Some say (I am) a killer… of what? Maybe — you know what it is.
You are all practicing it. Killing girls maybe, woman. We are good at
that,” he said.