Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte ordered police officers to kill “idiots” who violently resist arrest Monday during a meeting with officers and the parents of a 17-year-old boy who died in the country’s ongoing war on drugs.
Duterte met with the parents of Kian Loyd Delos Santos, who was killed by anti-drugs officers earlier in August. He told them police would handle their son’s case fairly, Reuters reported Monday.
The boy’s Saturday funeral turned into a major demonstration against Duterte’s drug policy, with hundreds of people, including religious leaders and children, marching against the drastic measures Duterte is using to solve the nation’s drug problems. The president, however, was adamant in defending his officers.
“Your duty requires you to overcome the resistance of the person you are arresting,” Duterte said. “If he resists, and it is a violent one … you are free to kill the idiots, that is my order to you.”
Police officers shot Delos Santos in the head after apprehending him on drug charges during a raid Aug. 16. The officers claimed the 17 year old had opened fire on them and that they only acted in self defense. CCTV footage shows the two unnamed officers dragging Delos Santos into an alley before shooting him in the back of the head, FOX News reported.
Duterte made the order to shoot “idiots” directly to a local police chief during a speech near Manila. Chief Jovie Espenido’s officers had recently conducted a drug raid that killed their town mayor. (RELATED: Duterte Vows To Eat Livers Of ISIS Militants)
Duterte is fighting a war on two fronts, one against the country’s drug epidemic, and another against Islamic State militants who have conquered the Philippine city of Marawi, one of the country’s few Muslim-majority cities.
The president launched a shoot-to-kill drug war immediately after taking office in 2016. Several thousand people have perished in the anti-drug campaign and Duterte refers to them as “collateral damage.” He uses the same ferocity in Marawi, putting the southern Philippines under martial law to stifle the spread of Islamic extremism.
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