Filipinos may finally walk without fear in a few years, Duterte says
Kristian Javier ( - September 9, 2016 - 3:48pm

MANILA, Philippines - Filipinos may finally walk in the Philippines free of the fear danger in a few years, President Rodrigo Duterte said at a gathering of the Filipino community in Jakarta, Indonesia on Friday.

"I will suppress drugs and in the fullness of God's time, maybe two years, you can walk about in the Philippines free of the fear of being mugged," the president said in the closing remarks of his address. The government claims that most crimes in the country are related to drugs. The Philippine National Police said in August that the number of index crimes dropped 31 percent in July against the same period in 2015 because of the war on drugs.

The president, whose war on drugs has raised concerns from the United Nations, the US, and human rights groups because of the rising number of drug-related deaths, said that he will "continue the campaign against the criminals."

Duterte also explained that when suspects are taken into custody and resist, there is a chance that they will be dragged and may suffer bruises and wounds.

"The lawyer will suggest to file a case against the policeman," the president continued. "Police are afraid to face charges because once they are suspended, they will not have money to buy food on the table."

The president said that his order to security forces is that "only when your life is in danger in the process of taking custody of the criminal, and there is a violent resistance, that will threaten your life, then shoot."

People taken into custody for alleged crimes are considered suspects until charged in court. Once formally charged in court, they are considered accused but only a court can make a determination of guilt. Only then can a person be considered a criminal.

The president has declared a State of National Emergency in the Philippines in response to the Sept. 2 bombing in Davao City, where 14 people died and more than 70 were injured. The declaration calls on the Armed Forces of the Philippines to help the Philippine National Police address lawlessness in the country.

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