President Rodrigo Duterte calls on US senators who criticized the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines that is linked with his administration’s war on drugs to stop the hypocrisy. (Paulo C. Rizal/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte reminded the United States government officials not to meddle with the affairs in the country following the criticisms of two US senators over the extrajudicial killings related to the continuing war on drugs in the Philippines.

“Do not interfere in our affairs,” Duterte said during a press conference upon his arrival at the Davao International Airport early Friday morning, September 30.

“I will ask (them) now, why are you shooting Black people there when they are on the ground?,” Duterte said adding that he is “returning the courtesy”.

On September 26, US Senators Patrick Leahy and Benjamin Cardin aired their concern over the spate of killings in the country as a result of the government’s war on illegal drugs.

Senator Leahy from Vermont said: “No amount of killing will result in reforms that improve the judiciary, end corruption and impunity in law enforcement, or rehabilitate those caught in the vicious cycle of addiction.”

He said “if President Duterte is serious about improving conditions in the Philippines, he should be focusing on improving services for Filipinos, not casting them aside; holding law enforcement accountable, not giving them a blanket license to kill suspects; and strengthening the judiciary, not undercutting it.”

Wrong way

Meanwhile, Senator Cardin said that while he understands Duterte’s desire to stop the drug menace, the Philippine President “has chosen the wrong way” in addressing the issue.”

We too have seen what drug trafficking and addiction can do in our communities. We also have a long history of both successful and unsuccessful efforts to combat narcotics – but we have learned that there is a right way to approach this issue – with law enforcement, due process and rule of law, with treatment – and a wrong way,” Cardin said.

He said the President’s “advocating and endorsing what amounts to mass murder, has chosen the wrong way.”

“Senator Leahy is absolutely right when he said that a lack of respect for rule of law and democratic governance breeds instability, distrust and sometimes violence,”  he added.

Cardin said if the current trends continue “we can expect that over 6,000 people will be dead as a result of extra-judicial killings in the Philippines by the end of this year.”

“This is not a situation in which there is occasional error or the over-zealous application of force.  This is systematic, wide-spread, brutal, and beyond the bounds for a constitutional democracy,” he added.

‘Stop the hypocrisy’

But Duterte lectured the US officials on how to deal with the Black people.

“There’s a proper way of arresting a Black man there. You arrest them, you grapple with them , pin him to the ground, placed him under handcuffed and bring him to the station. Do not shoot him with a video and the cameras all around. So I’m returning the courtesy,” Duterte said.

“Stop this hypocrisy game and we’re all right. Stop being hypocrites. Do not pretend to be the moral conscience of the world. Do not be the policemen because you do not have the eligibility to do that in my country,” Duterte said. (davaotoday.com)

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