Under fire for alleged rights abuses linked to his drug war, President Duterte insisted that he has neither killed anyone nor ordered the murder of a person.
The President however admitted that he could not stop the killing of criminals since there is a raging war against illegal drugs and other crimes in the country.
“At maraming sinasabi ‘Rule of law, hindi ka naman sumusunod, marami kang pinapatay.” Wala ho akong pinatay na tao (Many say, ‘Rule of law but you don’t follow, you’ve killed many people.’ I did not kill anyone),” Duterte said during his televised address Monday night.
Duterte also denied ordering the killing of another person, saying the public can verify the matter from his Cabinet members.
“Magtanong ka ng isang pulis dito sa Pilipinas, magtanong ka kay Secretary (Eduardo) Año sa DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government), magtanong ka kay (Delfin Secretary) Delfin Lorenzana, at may inutusan ba akong taong sinabi, “Patayin mo ito si Mr. Santos, Edmundo Santos, o patayin mo ito si Juan dela Cruz.’ I never do that (You can ask a policeman in the Philippines, you can ask Secretary Año of DILG, you can ask Delfin Lorenzana if I ever ordered, ‘Kill Mr. Santos, Edmundo Santos, or kill Juan dela Cruz.’ I never do that),” he said.
Duterte defended himself from allegations that his administration was behind the alleged extrajudicial killings related to the campaign against illegal drugs. He said he actually made a “discreet hearing” into these alleged murders, adding that he found out some incidents stemmed from gang turf wars and drug dealers silencing those who stole money and drugs from them.
Duterte also lamented that deaths of policemen and soldiers in fighting enemies of the state.
“For after all, marami rin akong patay na pulis at marami akong napatay na sundalo, not necessarily in connection with the war against the Abu Sayyaf, but it is included and during the Marawi siege, kasali ‘yan. Those were the part of the contraband that were hold off from the place, tonelada po,” he said.
Duterte also mentioned the local communist group in his speech, saying the rebels were out to destroy the government. He said they were merely concocting stories about harassment, oppression and murder.
“The left, who are out really to — and the NDF (National Democratic Front) — are out to destroy the very government in which they are enjoying the blessings of democracy. They invent stories about being harassed, killed, oppressed. Eh wala namang kaming nakikita at wala namang dumadating sa akin (I have not seen anything. Nothing has reached me),” he added.