Hold me responsible for drug war deaths – Duterte

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) – October 21, 2020 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — While he has claimed to have never killed anyone or had anyone killed, President Duterte said he could be held responsible for deaths related to his campaign against illegal drugs, but not for unexplained killings.

Duterte said he does not mind facing the court and going to jail because of the crackdown on illegal drugs, which has so far left more than 6,000 suspects dead, based on police data.

“If there are deaths, I said… you can hold me responsible for anything, any death that has occurred in the execution of the drug war. But do not blame me for deaths whose perpetrators are not known,” the President said in his televised public address.

“If you die, that’s because I am angry with drugs. That’s what I am saying. If you bring me to court or send me to jail, fine, I have no problem. If I serve my country by going to jail, gladly,” he added.

While he is open to facing charges, Duterte said he should not be accused of committing “crime against humanity.”

“Kailan pa naging humanity itong p***** i** mga drug na ito (Since when did these sons of b*****s become part of humanity)?” the President said.

Duterte said some of the deaths blamed on the drug crackdown may just be “random killings” or may have been motivated by rivalry, debts and money issues related to narcotics deals.

“It could be hatred and something else. It could be a fight over a woman,” the President said.

Citing a 2019 report by the Dangerous Drugs Board, Duterte said “about 167 million or two out of 100” Filipinos aged 10 to 69 were using illegal drugs. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque clarified yesterday that the figure was actually 1.67 million.

“In the past, during the time of (senator and former police chief Ronald) dela Rosa, it reached four million. And how much has been reduced in the use of shabu? I really do not know until now. But we are still in the thick of the fight against shabu,” Duterte said.

The President again justified his controversial war on drugs, saying the health and the welfare of the people are “really the paramount concern.” He advised parents to supervise and check on their children so they would not be addicted to drugs.

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