Duterte willing to go to jail only for 'correct indictment'

President Duterte is willing to go to jail only for the “correct indictment” but not for alleged crimes against humanity in his anti-drug crackdown.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

In his televised public address Monday night, the President said he would take responsibility for the drug war but rejected allegations that his actions constituted crimes against humanity. Duterte, instead, put the blame on the illegal drugs and those involved in the illegal trade for destroying the human race.

“Dalhin ninyo ako sa korte para ikulong (Bring me to court to jail me) fine, wala akong problema (I have no problem with that). If I serve my country by going to jail, gladly. Pero ayusin lang ninyo ang kaso ninyo (But fix your case) because the love of country or the highest interest of the country, the health and the welfare of the people are really the paramount concern,” he said in his televised speech Monday night.

“So payag ako (So I agree). Just charge (me) with the correct indictment. Huwag 'yung basta-basta lang kayo mag --- magsabi na punta kayo ng --- 'yung crime against humanity. Kailan pa naging humanity itong p** i* mga drug na ito? L*. Iyan ang sinisira na ano --- humanity (Just don’t go and accuse me of crimes against humanity. When is the son the b drugs part of humanity? They destroy humanity). And what are they doing? Aren't they killing humanity also?” he asked.

He said that while he takes responsibility for the deaths in the anti-drug operations, his critics should make sure the charges to be filed against him have a factual basis.

“You can hold me responsible for anything, any death that has occurred in the execution of the drug war. Pero huwag ninyo akong bintangan diyan sa patayan na hindi mo alam kung sino ang pumatay (But don’t blame me for the deaths wherein you don’t know who the perpetrator is),” he said.

Unfazed by criticisms from rights groups, Duterte affirmed that his administration would press ahead with the campaign against the illegal drug trade. “When you save your country from the perdition of the people like the NPAs and drugs, you are doing a sacred duty,” he added.

Duterte said the anti-drug authorities recently reported that the country has 1.6 million drug users, bewailing that their lives have been destroyed by the illegal substance.

He asked his critics how they intend to take responsibility for these drug users who have become “indolent” and “laggards.”

“Who's going to answer for it? Kayo? (You?) Do you have a program? Do you have money to contribute to the rehabilitation of these poor people?” he asked.

Duterte also said he resents it that his critics are silent whenever policemen are killed while performing their duty in fighting criminality. “Kung may mamatay na pulis, wala kayong sabihin (When a policeman dies, you don’t say anything) Ang I have lost so many policemen in connection with the implementation of the law against drugs,” he said.

Local and foreign rights groups have called for a United Nations probe into the alleged extrajudicial killings and other abuses alleged to have been committed under Duterte’s war on drugs. Some groups have alleged that the drug war-related killings have reached the threshold of crimes against humanity.

The government had earlier estimated that the death toll from anti-drug operations has reached more than 5,000.