On Friday, the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has told reporters that he personally stabbed a man to death in his youth. During his frequent times in and out of jail, he says that he stabbed someone to death during a “rumble” after some kind of look they gave each other.
President Duterte’s remarks:
…at the age of 16, I killed someone. A real person. During a rumble. A stabbing. I was just 16 years old. It was just because we looked at each other. How much more now that I am president? You fuck with my countrymen; I won’t let you off the hook. Never mind about the human rights advocates.”
Watch the video here (IBT):
He also claims to have killed three men during his time as mayor of Davao City. “It happened,” he said, “and I said, I cannot lie about it.” A reporter asks if he thinks that makes him fit to be president, to which he responds in the affirmative, “…given the problems of my country, yes.” There have been accusations that he was charged with running a sort of death squad during this time.
Watch the video here (BBC):
President Duterte admitted during a campaign speech early on that his rule would be a “bloody one” and that human rights violations would be overlooked and pardoned, not to mention pardoning himself at the end of his term for any mass murdering he might have gotten himself into.
His war on drugs has been just that: all out war. His infamous crackdown has earned him worldwide notoriety, getting him names like the “serial killer president” from a French newspaper. He is constantly berating, cutting the funding for and outright condemning any human rights efforts in the Philippines. He even called someone a pedophile for speaking on the deaths of two minors during the war on drugs. Thousands of killings have occurred without any kind of due process, all under his watch and encouragement. Despite his hard stance against drugs, he has admitted to being a regular user of the opioid Fentanyl, a drug used by the U.S. military to alleviate pain on the battlefield.
Summary executions, organized and brutal raids, death squads–almost 4,000 people have killed by police in this drug war, possibly more.
Duterte is many things, “brutal” certainly being one of the traits at the top of the list. When he was the mayor of the City of Davao, “I’d go around… with a motorcycle, with a big bike around, and I would just patrol the streets, looking for trouble. I was really looking for a confrontation so I could kill.”
Featured image courtesy of AP Images