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'What due process?... I am not the court,' Duterte tells critics

Philstar.com
MANILA, Philippines — What due process? I am not the court.
 
This was President Rodrigo Duterte’s reaction to critics who scored him for naming the active and retired police officers who have alleged ties with drug syndicates.
 
Speaking to fellow alumni of the San Beda College of Law Thursday night, Duterte stressed that it is his “sworn, sacred duty to tell the Filipino the state of things in this country.” He noted that even before he won the election, he already advised police officials involved in the narcotics trade to retire early or be shamed publicly.
 
“What due process? Due process ulol (fool). It is given once you are in the court. It is not given by the president. I am not the court. Why should I give you due process?” the president said.
 
“I can give you a lawyer. I cannot handle a proceeding or proceedings against you,” he added.
 
Early this month, Duterte revealed the names of five retired and active police officials whom he accused of coddling drug lords.
 
 
Accused of protecting drug syndicates were retired police deputy director general Marcelo Garbo Jr., retired police general and newly elected Daanbantayan, Cebu Mayor Vicente Loot, former National Capital Region Police Office Director Joel Pagdilao, former Quezon City Police District director Chief Superintendent Edgardo Tinio and Western Visayas regional director Chief Superintendent Bernardo Diaz.
 
The president, however, maintained that the police officers deserve to be investigated and should be given the opportunity to defend themselves.
 
Duterte, who vowed to cleanse the country of drug lords, also named three individuals who reportedly belong to the top tier of the narcotics trade in the country.
 
They were identified as Wu Tuan alias “Peter Co,” Herbert Colangco alias “Ampang” and Peter Lim alias “Jaguar.” Tuan and Colangco are detained at the New Bilibid Prison, while Lim remains at large.
 
Last month, Duterte told lawmakers that at least 35 local executives are condoning or protecting drug lords. The president said he would identify them once he gathers enough evidence linking them to drug rings.
 
Critics claimed that Duterte’s shame campaign deprived those accused of coddling drug lords of due process.

‘It would have been better if I killed them’

Duterte said the drug menace in the country would end if all drug lords are killed within 24 hours.
 
“And we are the only country — I think in the world, except South America — where shabu is being cooked at the national penitentiary. That’s why I have them (drug lords) arrested. I let these bitches live so that woman won’t be able to say anything against me,” Duterte said, apparently referring to Sen. Leila de Lima.
 
De Lima has vowed to probe allegations that the intensified campaign against drugs had resulted in human rights violations.
 
“Give him a trial, a fair trial, judicial trial. Okay. After that what?” the tough-talking president said.
 
“After they were brought here what did they do? They cooked shabu. It would have been better if I killed them,” he added.
 
Duterte said shabu destroys the human brain and could put the country in peril.
 
“Four or seven years, if nobody interdicts the drug business in the Philippines, we will be a narco-politic. So this should stop,” the president said.
 
“I have placed the burden upon myself. I will end this even at the cost of my honor, my life, and the presidency,” he added. 
 
Duterte previously assured law enforcers that he is ready to defend them once they are charged for actions that are related to their duty. He also vowed to assume “full legal responsibility” for what he described as a “bloody fight” against drugs.

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