'Hang me, shoot me': Duterte takes responsibility for 'drug war' consequences
President Rodrigo Duterte bids farewell to the members of the send-off party as he prepares to board a plane at the Vnukovo Military Base Airport in Moscow, Russia on Oct. 2, 2019.
Presidential Photo/King Rodriguez
'Hang me, shoot me': Duterte takes responsibility for 'drug war' consequences
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - October 4, 2019 - 12:24pm

MANILA, Philippines – Defending his crackdown against illegal drugs, President Rodrigo Duterte declared that he takes full responsibility for all the consequences of his war on drugs.

Speaking at the Valdai Forum in Sochi, Russia, the president said he is the only person responsible for the drug war.

Duterte's drug war has been receiving criticisms from the international community due to thousands of alleged extrajudicial killings and summary executions linked to the anti-narcotics campaign.

"If someday somebody has to be hanged, I will be happy. I will even put the noose on my neck and say 'go ahead' or if you want to shoot me in a firing squad, fine," Duterte said.

The president added that it would be an honor for him to be in the same situation as the country's national hero Jose Rizal, who was executed by a firing squad in December 1896.

"I do not aspire for honor. I do not aspire to be known. I'm just a citizen, a worker of government and I will do what I have to do to protect the people especially the next generation," the president told the forum.

'I am not a killer'

Despite previously announcing that he used to personally kill suspected criminals when he was Davao City mayor, Duterte told the Valdai Forum that he is not a killer.

"I am not a killer... I have yet to kill one human being. When I say 'I will kill you' that's a statement coming from the mouth," Duterte said.

In September. presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo saud that the president does not mean he will kill someone if he says he will kill someone.

“When he says ‘I’ll kill you’, it means he will pursue you to the ends of the Earth and put you behind bars. Now if you resist, oh that’s the time you will be killed – in defense," he said then.

In December 2016, Duterte said in a speech before business executives that he used to go around Davao City on a motorcycle to look for criminals.

"I go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around and I would just patrol the streets and looking for trouble also. I was really looking for an encounter to be able to kill," Duterte said almost three years ago.

Vitaliano Aguirre II, Justice secretary at the time, however, said Duterte was only exaggerating killings of criminals to send a warning to lawbreakers.

"The president always resorts to hyperbole, he always exaggerates just to put his message across," Aguirre said.

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