The president of the Philippines apologized to Seoul after police killed a South Korean citizen.
The apology for the wrongful murder of businessman Jee Ick-joo by the Philippine National Police (PNP) is exactly what the world has come to expect from Filipino firebrand President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I apologize for the death of your compatriot. We are very sorry that it had to happen,” Duterte’s apology began.
Calling for the return of the death penalty, he said, “You give that power back to me again, I’ll execute them, make them curtains. I’ll hang them in one day, 20 of them.”
Duterte said he would send their bodies back to South Korea to “fuel their burners.”
“You sons of bitches, you policemen. You will suffer. I can maybe send your heads to South Korea,” he said angrily, “I will see to it that they are sentenced to the maximum.”
The death penalty was abolished in the Philippines in 2006; however, Duterte’s allies, who argue that the abolition of the death penalty has resulted in the “emasculation” of the criminal justice system and eliminated deterrence, introduced a bill into Congress calling for its return June 30, 2016, the day Duterte took office.
Three Filipino police officers and one former policeman were involved in Jee’s murder. Jee was kidnapped and strangled late last year, and his body was cremated at a local crematorium.
Death has been a common theme throughout Duterte’s presidency, and the police have played a major part.
After taking office, he launched a shoot-to-kill drug war that has ended more than 7,000 lives. The majority of the victims were killed by vigilantes and police.
A Senate investigation into Jee’s murder began Thursday.
“All indications point to an elaborate web of criminal activity by some police personnel operating under the cover of legitimate police operations,” explained police chief Ronald dela Rosa, who said he was “overcome with shame.”
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