Duterte warns UN probers: I’ll whack you in the head

Christina Mendez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – President Duterte scored the United Nations yesterday for hitting his aggressive anti-drug campaign, which he said has so far claimed the lives of 1,000 drug addicts and pushers.

He complained that the UN is zeroing in on his administration’s drug campaign when it was quiet on mass killings in other countries. 

“While I really do not know who’s going to come here for that, I am going to whack him in the head,” Duterte said at the anniversary of the Philippine National Police at Camp Crame.

“Do not investigate us as if we are criminals. Don’t ever do that… I will not receive you warmly in this country. But if you come here, explain or maybe hear about the happenings on criminals or see (for) yourselves,” he said, referring to UN probers.

He accused the UN of interfering in the government’s affairs as he urged policemen “not to be intimidated about the statement of the United Nations.”

“UN can only investigate genocide, when you kill… killing children, killing the whole community… but when you kill criminals who fight you and criminals who fight among themselves, that is our duty.”

“We will answer for every killing that involves a human being, whether it is connected with the fulfillment of duty of the police or not,” he said.

He said many people  have lost their sons and daughters to drugs and have been waiting for this time to seek justice. 

He also described as “stupid” the reports accusing the government of being behind all the summary executions.

“Here comes the UN easily swayed and coming on a very stupid proposition of, you know, for those who are killed by the drug syndicates we can only investigate, but do not attribute acts of other criminals upon my government,” he said.

“I would like also to just say why would the United Nations be so easily swayed into interfering in the affairs of this republic?” he asked.

“There are about just 1,000. There are a lot of people, innocent women, child, young women, young men, old men, old women being killed elsewhere in this world without ever seeing the slightest justice.”

Suicide bombings

Duterte cited for example in the Middle East, where there have been lives lost due to suicide bombings.

“I have yet to see the United Nations complaining publicly, even not criticizing countries who are into bombing villages and communities, killing everybody there including the goats and the cows and the dogs,” Duterte said.

Shoot them dead

Amid international outcry over human rights violations, Duterte reiterated his call to the police to kill drug suspects who will resist during operations.

“I will suppress crime and take control of the drug situation, which was really running wild. Make no mistake about it,” he said.

“Do not hesitate to kill if you are in danger of losing your life,” he told policemen.

“If you cannot bring him to the police station… (and you need) to overcome the resistance... and in the process the operation is placing your life in jeopardy – shoot and shoot him dead.”

Duterte said it is very easy to complain when no president had earlier made a successful, honest-to-goodness policy to really stomp out the drug menace in the country.

“We in government and I myself who ordered the campaign against drugs, take full sole responsibility for it and for those who are killed in a police operation and a firefight, we are willing to submit ourselves for an investigation before anybody.”

Duterte downplayed the statistics on the victims of killings, saying he is saving the nation from the peril posed by illegal drugs. 

He said the numbers are small compared to the lives wasted by drugs, which create broken families, and the root of heinous crimes such as rape, robbery and murder.

But despite intensive effort to contain illegal drugs, the menace remains rampant in the National Capital Region, Bicol and Western Visayas.

100 more SAF at NBP

At the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City, at least 100 more members of the elite Special Action Force of the PNP will be deployed on top of around 320 SAF members that have taken over the prison security since last July 20.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the additional 100 SAF troopers were earlier requested to augment the 320 already deployed there last month. 

Aguirre said the deployment of 100 more SAF would be funded by the Department of Justice, with the Bureau of Corrections as one of 11 agencies under its wing. 

He also cited the need for signal jammers in the NBP to prevent transactions of illegal drugs from taking place between the inmates and their connections outside the penitentiary. 

“We have to replace the signal jammers and we are looking for donors who could buy the one worth P10 million that has to be bought from Israel,” he said during a press conference on the sidelines of the Social Development Summit at the SMX Convention Center. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Edith Regalado

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