Duterte maintains ‘no mercy’ stance vs. drug dealers, kidnappers

Published December 29, 2020, 10:03 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Drug lords and kidnappers should be doused with gasoline and set on fire, President Duterte declared Monday amid his renewed threat to finish off those who destroy the nation.


The tough-talking President argued that these lawless elements deserved to burn as he defended his campaign against illegal drugs and criminality during a televised address Monday night.

“Ngayon, itong mga drug lords pati mga kidnapper, drug pusher, ganoon, dalhin ninyo sa hindi masyado — wala masyadong taong maiskandalo. Buhusan ninyo ng gasolina at sindihan ninyo. Iyan ang dapat sa mga tao na ‘yan (Now, the drug lords, kidnappers, drug pusher, bring them somewhere to avoid any scandal, pour gasoline on them and set them on fire. They deserve that),” Duterte said.

The President also addressed human rights groups critical of his drug war during his speech, telling them about his resolve to “kill” those destroying the country. “I said do not destroy my country. And if you destroy the youth of my land, you are destroying my country. So that I will kill you. Totoo ‘yan (that’s the truth),” he said.

Duterte also took a swipe at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly interfering in the country’s affairs. He alleged that the ICC was “crazy” to prosecute him while local courts are functioning.  “We have the courts here functioning. And if the courts says that I should go to jail, I will go to jail,” he added.

At the start of his term, the President, a former mayor of Davao City, launched a controversial war on drugs, which has reportedly claimed over 5,000 lives. 

Duterte has taken a hardline stance against drug dealers, repeating threatening to kill them for destroying people’s lives. He also previously told cops to use force if their lives are placed in danger during anti-crime operations.

Some rights groups here and abroad have denounced the alleged extrajudicial killings and other rights abuses linked to the anti-drug crackdown.

A preliminary inquiry into the drug-related deaths has been initiated by the ICC prosecutor’s office in 2018. Recently, the ICC prosecutor reported found “reasonable basis to believe” that alleged crimes against humanity were committed in Duterte’s drug war. A decision will be made early next year if it will seek formal probe on the matter.