President Duterte on Tuesday, August 24, insisted that he’s not making up laws when he defends policemen and the military who kill while in the line of fire.
In his weekly taped address to the nation, Duterte said that he has never told the police and the military to “salvage” people and kill those who are already kneeling with their hands tied.
“Ang sinabi ko kung magtanong ka, ‘Anong gawain dapat natin?’ Gawain mo ang tama. ‘Sir, nabaril ko kasi nang-hostage.’ Iyan ang tama sa batas. Sabihin ko sa inyo iyan ‘yan. Kung ano ang lumabas sa bunganga ko, batas ‘yan. Hindi akin. Hindi ako gumagawa ng sarili kong batas (I said you ask, ‘what we should do?’ Do what’s right. ‘Sir, I shot him because he took hostage.’ That’s what’s right in the law. I will tell you that’s it. What came out of my mouth, that’s the law. Not mine. I don’t make up my own laws),” Duterte added.
“Hindi ko naman sinasabi na ang tao na nakalupaypay na barilin mo pa. Ikulong mo na lang. Mas maganda ‘yang kulong kasi mas masakit (I did not say to shoot at someone who’s already down. Put him in prison instead. Putting him in jail is better because it hurts more),” he said.
This is contrary to reports that the police killed 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos in 2017 while he was kneeling down and begging for his life. At that time, Duterte ordered his police and military to kill those who resist arrest in the name of his bloody war on drugs.
Once again, he came to the police’s and military’s defense, saying that it was him who ordered them to “destroy the apparatus,” referring to drug peddlers.
“I said plainly destroy the apparatus. If you are a member of that apparatus, then I am very sorry if you die because I said you are destroying my country. Ganoon kasimple ‘yan (It’s that simple),” the President said.
“Hindi ko ‘yan sila inutusan mamatay pero (I did not ask for them to kill but) in the course sa pagtrabaho nila, nagkabarilan, nagkapatayan, akin ‘yan. Wala ‘yan sila, akin ‘yan. Inutusan ko lang ‘yan sila (of their work, there was a shooting, killing, that’s on me. That’s not them, that’s on me. I just ordered them to do it),” he added.
The number of people who were killed in the government’s anti-drug campaign varies, with the government saying there are more than 7,000 victims in the drug war while human rights defenders insist that the number could be as high as 30,000.