DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gave police officers on Monday the authority to kill “idiots” who will resist arrest and has assigned a police chief to Iloilo City—the Visayas’ drug bedrock.
Duterte disclosed such information when he digressed midway from his prepared speech on Monday’s National Heroes’ Day celebration at the Heroes’ Cemetery in Taguig City to address the comments on Police Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido.
“Your duty requires you to overcome the resistance of the person you are arresting… (if) he resists, and it is a violent one… you are free to kill the idiots, that is my order to you,” Duterte told Espenido.
The President said that that “murder and homicide and unlawful killings” were not allowed and that police must uphold the rule of law while carrying out their duties.
The controversial police chief came under fire when human rights groups condemned his tactics in carrying out the government’s war on drugs. In areas where he was assigned, several local chief executives were already killed.
Espenido was instrumental for the successful raid conducted against the Parojinog clan last July which led to the death of Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, his wife Susan and 14 others.
Despite strong criticisms against Espenido, Dutere has lauded his anti-drug campaign efforts which prompted the President to assign him in Iloilo City where its city mayor, according to Duterte, is involved in the illegal drug trade.
“Your next assignment is Iloilo,” Duterte said.
“You asked for the assignment sa Leyte, namatay ang mayor doon. You asked for another assignment sa Ozamiz, namatay ang mayor doon [the mayor there was killed]- si Parojinog. Ngayon gusto mo sa Iloilo kasi nga si Mabilog [Now you want in Iloilo because Mabilog ] has been identified as a protector,” the President added.
Duterte said that Iloilo province is a bedrock of illegal drug trading in the Visayas region, an allegation which was earlier denied by Mabilog as well the province’s mayors.
Later on Monday, the President met the parents of 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos at the Presidential Palace in Manila.
Both Lorenza and Saldy Delos Santos Santos paid a courtesy call on the President at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang Park. Duterte who came from an event in San Fernando Pampanga, arrived past 1 pm and had lunch with the couple.
Duterte vowed an impartial probe on the killing of their 17-year-old son. He also assured the parents of Kian that “no one will meddle with the case,” noting that only the courts and the fiscal will handle it.
Kian’s death on Aug. 16 sparked a public outcry as thousands were already killed including minors when Duterte took office and unleashed his bloody war on illegal drugs last year.(davaotoday.com)