President Rodrigo Duterte, whose deadly anti-drug campaign has faced intense international criticism, paused during a speech to tell a local police chief that it is his duty to “overcome the resistance” of any crime suspect. If he violently resists, Duterte said, “You are free to kill the idiots. That is my order to you.”
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told police on Monday they could kill “idiots” who violently resist arrest, two days after hundreds of people turned the funeral of a slain teenager into a protest against his deadly war on drugs, reports Reuters. Duterte broke off midway through a prepared speech at the Hero’s Cemetery on the outskirts of Manila and addressed impromptu comments to Jovie Espenido, the police chief of a town in the south where the mayor was killed in an anti-drugs raid. “Your duty requires you to overcome the resistance of the person you are arresting … (if) he resists, and it is a violent one … you are free to kill the idiots. That is my order to you,” Duterte told the chief.
Meanwhile, Duterte also met the parents of the schoolboy, 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos, at the presidential palace in Manila on Monday, to assure them their son’s case would be handled fairly. Delos Santos’ mother, Lorenza, said she was confident the president would help quickly resolve the case. “He promised he would not allow those who have committed wrong to go unpunished,” the mother said in an interview posted online by Duterte’s communications office on a Facebook page after the meeting. Duterte unleashed the anti-drugs war after taking office in June last year following an election campaign in which he vowed to use deadly force to wipe out crime and drugs. Thousands of people have been killed.