DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales got the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday – the President’s resentment was said to have originated from Morales’ comments during an interview on “killing people”.
“Do not play God and shut up,” Duterte said. The President added that Morales castigated him publicly and quoted him with an incorrect statement.
“Si Ombudsman ba, Conchita Morales, blew her top and castigated me publically for just mentioning killing the criminals and in one publication hindi ginamit iyong correct statement,” the President said.
He clarified he never ordered to kill people when he was the mayor here.
“I never said, ‘Kill people’ ‘Kill criminals’ when I was mayor, iyan man silang mga military magtanong kayo,” Duterte pointed out.
The President said he threatened to kill criminals if they destroy the young and the community and that he really hated illegal drugs.
Use of illegal drugs, he added, result to serious criminalities such as hold-up and rape of children.
“Then, si Conchita (Morales) said, ‘iyong kill you…go dead, go dead,’ mukhang tinutulak ko to kill people.
Duterte went on to challenge Morales to find a law that prohibits to threat with death the criminals.
“Abogada naman sana ito, iyong Ombudsman (Conchita) Morales find me a law which says I cannot threaten criminals with death. Find me a law which would bar me from saying, ‘I will destroy you if you destroy my country’,” the President said.
He will immediately step down if the Ombudsman could find such law, he added.
It was not only Morales who expressed concern over the cases of killings in the country, particularly those related in the continuing war against illegal drugs.
The President was also criticized by the international community on the matter.
Human Rights group Karapatan in Southern Mindanao also raised concern over Duterte’s comments on dealing with drug suspects during the anniversary of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology last week.
“It’s infuriating to hear Duterte’s recent statement on his war on drugs campaign, directing his forces to kill any alleged drug users or pushers who fight back, if not, forcing them to fight back to get killed, especially from a person we once honored for his strong commitment to people’s issues,” Jay Apiag, spokesperson of Karapatan in Southern Mindanao said.
“Bakit iyong Ombudsman hindi corrupt?” the President said further, saying that he too had some dealings with the Ombudsman when he was still a prosecutor.
“I had dealings with them when I was a Prosecutor, My God. Wag ka ngang masyadong killing-killing, why, what is your sense?” Duterte said.
The President also asked why, in the past cases decided by the Ombudsman, most of those in the lower echelons were the ones’ being indicted. Treasurers, property officers will really sign documents when asked by mayors, he added. (davaotoday.com)