The president of the Philippines faces possible impeachment and an international lawsuit, yet remains committed to his harsh crackdown on illegal drugs.
President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday that his anti-narcotics campaign will continue. “The drive against corruption, criminality and drugs will resume and it will continue and it will be brutal,” he explained. The president added that he has ordered Filipino police officers to shoot to kill any criminal suspect that threatens them. “If you place the guys’ lives in jeopardy … my order is to shoot you,” Duterte remarked.
He said that he would rather see “thousands or millions” of criminal suspects die before he saw a single police officer or soldier fall in the line of duty.
Rep. Gary Alejano, an opposition lawmaker, accused Duterte of violating the constitution, corruption, and betraying public trust and filed an impeachment complaint. The president is also under fire for the wave of extrajudicial killings that have resulted in the deaths of thousands of Filipinos in Duterte’s drug war.
Local police assert that instances in which an officer opens fire on suspects are self-defense.
Furthermore, following shocking testimonies by confessed hitmen that Duterte ran death squads as the mayor of Davao, Jude Josue Sabio, a local lawyer who represents the two hitmen, Edgar Matobato and Arturo Lascanas, has threatened to file a lawsuit against the president in the International Criminal Court.
“I will not be intimidated, and I shall not be stopped by what? International Criminal Court? Impeachment? If that is part of my destiny, it is my destiny to go,” Duterte told reporters before departing to Myanmar.
“Follow the law and we are alright. Drop shabu and nobody will die tomorrow,” the president added, noting, “I rose on what I promised and I will fall on that.”
Duterte’s war on drugs has ended the lives of an estimated 8,000 people since it began last summer.
“I will deliver on my promises, even if it would cost me my life, my honor, and the presidency,” Duterte stressed Sunday. “I can lose them all but I will comply with my promise.”
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