President Rodrigo R. Duterte has vehemently denied that he has directed the police and the military to kill drug offenders in the country.
During the inauguration of The Tent at Vista Global South in Las Piñas City on Thursday night, Duterte said he would rather let drug personalities rot in jail than order cops and soldiers to kill the lawbreakers.
“I do not allow the policemen and the military men to kill a person,” the President said.
“Ang pulis, bakit ka patayin? For what? Bakit ka papatayin? Tapos na ang problema niya kung papatayin mo. I-pasok mo doon sa kulungan, doon sa Bilibid kasi doon mag-tiis siya (Why would the police kill you? What for? Why would they kill you? It would just end the drug offender’s problem if he gets killed. Just let him suffer in prison),” he added.
Duterte issued the statement, as his critics continued to blame him for the drug-related deaths since he waged a war on narcotics trade in 2016.
Around 5,552 drug suspects have been killed during the conduct of a total of 151,601 legitimate anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2019, according to the government’s official data.
The President said killings of drug offenders during legitimate anti-drug operations only happen when the suspects offer resistance.
He said the deaths of drug suspects should be attributed to members of syndicates involved in unlawful narcotics sale.
“Ito hulihin, ito sa pulis, takot eh. ‘Pag ganon pa lang ng pulis diyan, ‘Sir, huwag sir. Sir.’ ‘O nasaan?’ ‘Dito.’ Tapos ito, ito ito. Dire-derecho na (Arrested drug suspect are afraid of the consequences of his acts. So, when asked by police where is he getting the illegal drugs, he has no choice but tell the truth),” Duterte said.
“Chain reaction na iyan. Ngayon ito dito, ‘yang sa taas magtingin siya, ayun, papatayin talaga lahat ng pumiyok (So that’s a chain reaction. Now, if the drug syndicates learned about it, they will kill those who spill the beans to the police),” he added.
On Dec. 7, former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares raised the possibility of Duterte getting arrested, once the International Criminal Court (ICC) is done with its preliminary examination of the drug war in the Philippines.
But Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Dec. 8 said the ICC has no jurisdiction over the Philippines, thus, cannot arrest Duterte on the basis of the alleged commission of crimes against humanity for the deaths of thousands of drug personalities in the country.
In its “Report on Preliminary Examination Activities 2019,” the ICC reveals its intent to conclude its initial review of Duterte’s war on illegal drugs by 2020 to see whether there is a need to conduct a full-blown investigation into the drug problem in the Philippines.
The ICC in February 2018 conducted a preliminary examination of Duterte’s anti-narcotics drive, based on lawyer Jude Sabio’s communication which alleges that the President has committed crimes against humanity for drug-related deaths that happened from July 1, 2016 to Mar. 31, 2017.
The Philippines was out of the ICC on Mar. 17, 2019, or exactly a year after the issuance of a formal notification about its intention of leaving the international tribunal body.
The international court’s preliminary examination, however, still pushed through, as it insisted that it has jurisdiction over Duterte’s possible commission of crimes since the supposed killings happened when the Philippines was still a member-state of the international tribunal. PNA.GOV.PH