- President denied ordering gov’t forces to commit EJKs
- He claimed he was a victim of fake news spread by his critics
- He also stressed his mandate to protect the country from criminals
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte again denied ordering law enforcers to summarily execute criminals or suspects, saying he only instructed them to defend themselves when necessary.
“I did not tell any policeman, for the life of me, to kill just everybody, perhaps sitting down or kneeling in front of the police… That’s really murder,” Sun Star quoted him as saying. “I am sure that there never was a time that I said, ‘Go out and just kill the criminals.’ It’s always been, ‘Go out, do not be afraid, I will support you.’ The only time that you can kill a criminal is when your life is in danger.”
Duterte accused his critics of twisting the news to make it appear as if he was behind the killings in the government’s war on drugs.
“Most of the victims who were killed, and according to the bright guys of this country and political opposition, it’s the guys who cannot accept defeat, they invented the fake news and concocted figures,” he said. “I do not deny that there were people killed in that campaign. Why are they killed? Because a shabu user or a lieutenant of a shabu syndicate has always a gun.”
At the same time, the president stressed that there was nothing wrong in threatening criminals and everybody else threatening to destroy the country.
“Now, find me a wrong in my statement, when I say, ‘I will kill you if you destroy my country. I will kill you if you destroy the young of my country,’” he said. “I am asking everybody to find me a fault in those two statements. I have always stressed that the only time that you can kill a criminal is when your life is also in danger or you’re about – self-preservation.”