Rehashing his previous threats, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday issued yet another warning to local chief executives who have refused to heed his call to stop engaging in the narcotics trade.
“As long as I’m President, these big ‘shabu’ dealers will die and the next batch would really be these mayors. I will call them and lock them up,” he said.
“I will talk to them. With the thick document I showed you, I will tell them, ‘Look for your name there mayor, you son of a bitch. If your name is there, you have a problem. I will really kill you.’”
Duterte, who has failed to make good on his campaign promise to eradicate the drug menace in the first six months of his presidency, said he would kill city and municipal mayors protecting syndicates selling and manufacturing shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride).
Take the case of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., who was shot dead by policemen inside his detention cell at the Leyte subprovincial jail last November in what senators said was a police rubout.
“He was killed in a very (questionable way), but I don’t care. The policemen said he resisted arrest. Then I will stick with the story of the police because (they are) under me,” the President said after swearing in the latest members of his administration in Malacañang, the presidential palace.
Duterte said mayors involved in the drug trade should either resign “or make a clean breast of everything, come up with a clean nose.”
“I might go down in the history as the butcher. It’s up to you,” said the President, whose deadly drug war has led to the deaths of more than 6,000 drug suspects.
Duterte again lambasted human rights advocates, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and outgoing US President Barack Obama for criticizing his war on drugs.
He claimed critics of his take-no-prisoners strategy had only “trivialised” the severity of the country’s drug problem that, he said, had affected some 4 million Filipinos.
As if courting another controversy, Duterte said in jest: “Since I have nothing to show, I just use extrajudicial killing. (That’s because) I have no credentials to boast about.”