DAVAO CITY—President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday urged three high-ranking police generals with alleged links to the illegal drug trade to resign or be humiliated.
Speaking before crowds of his staunch supporters at the Crocodile Park grounds in Maa, Davao City, Duterte also said that cases against police officers that were dismissed would be reviewed for further action.
“Corruption must stop. I will ask three generals there in [Camp] Crame to resign. Do not wait for me to name you in public because I will only humiliate you,” Duterte said.
Duterte said crooked cops usually avoided conviction by waiting a few years until the complainants or witnesses were no longer available, then had their cases dismissed.
“I won’t agree to that,” he said. “All policemen with cases—you’re all wanted.”
During the campaign, Duterte alleged that at least three high-ranking officials in the Philippine National Police had ties with illegal drugs but refused to name them.
“Don’t take this as a joke,” he said, addressing himself to the police on Saturday. “I’m not joking.
I will kill you,” he said to cheers from the crowd. “It’s up to you if you want to believe me, but just ask the people of Davao. If you are into [drugs] stop it. If you destroy the youth of this country, I will kill you.”
Duterte said the public has the authority to arrest drug suspects under the law.
If the suspect is armed and resists arrest, Duterte said: “Shoot him. I will give you a medal.”
Malacañang on Sunday urged Duterte to give due process to the three PNP generals that he accused of being involved in the drug trade.
“Any action against corruption must still comply with due process in accordance with the provisions of the law,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a radio interview over state-run dzRB.
“The call of president-elect Duterte on some members of the PNP [to resign] is his prerogative as president-elect,” said Coloma.
At the same time, any step the government does to fight illegal drugs must be supported, Coloma said.
“One of the fundamental pillars of the Aquino administration is to combat corruption at all levels and government agencies including the Philippine National Police. Any step toward achieving this goal must be given support,” said Coloma.
Duterte’s statements came as other officials began paying bounties for slain suspected criminals in an apparent attempt to ride on Duterte’s success.
Duterte won the presidential election last month, running on a platform of a ruthless anti-crime campaign.
After previously saying he would unleash the military and police on criminals, Duterte said the public could go after them as well.
“If they are there in your neighborhood, feel free to call us, the police or do it yourself if you have the gun. You have my support,” he told his cheering followers.
“If he fights and fights to the death, you can kill him,” he said, adding: “I will give you a medal.”
He said drug addicts could not be rehabilitated and warned, “if you are involved in drugs, I will kill you. You son of a whore, I will really kill you.”
Duterte reiterated that his anti-crime campaign would be “a bloody war,” as he offered money for slain drug lords.
“I will pay, for a drug lord: P5 million if he is dead. If he is alive, only P4.999 million,” he laughed.
Duterte, who takes office on June 30 and is the longtime mayor of the southern city of Davao, also offered smaller amounts for lower-ranked figures involved in the drug trade.
He did not say how a private citizen could identify suspects.
Duterte has previously been linked with vigilante “death squads” that have killed scores of people in Davao and has vowed to widen his campaign when he becomes president.
Others have followed his lead with the elected mayor of the central city of Cebu, Tomas Osmeña, admitting he paid more than $3,000 to police officers for killing drug traffickers.
Duterte and other officials have previously brushed aside warnings from human rights groups about the dangers of such a policy.
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