MANILA – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte defended anew his administration’s campaign against illegal drugs in the country saying he is just doing his job.
In a press briefing at Malacañang last Monday, Duterte also said he is ready to face charges that may be filed against him at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the deaths of more than 8,000 drug suspects since the anti-drug operation called Oplan Tokhang was launched when he was assumed the presidency last year.
Speaking in Filipino, Duterte said, “I did no wrong to Filipinos. What wrong have I done to you? Killing criminals? What else? I’m just doing my job, if you can’t take it, then go,” he said, adding that he promised Filipinos that will crack down on corruption and on the illegal drug problem when he ran for the presidency in the general elections in May 2016.
“But I said I have to comply with my promise. There’s so much noise about this thing about extrajudicial killing – I’ve told you there’s none. Just ask any policeman here in Manila, ask him if I’ve ever ordered anyone down on his knees or about to surrender killed,” he said.
On the charges that may be filed against him at the ICC, the President said he is “ready to face the music.”
Edgar Matobato, a self-confessed member of the dreaded Davao Death Squad (DDS), and former police officer Arturo Lascañas, who haveboth linked Duterte to the killing of criminals when he was still Davao City mayor, earlier said they will sue Duterte before the ICC for the extrajudicial killings.
“If I go to prison, so be it. That’s life. God asked me to be president, to rid the country of drugs and then get myself jailed,” he said.
Meanwhile, Duterte said his administration will pursue a crackdown on corrupt government officials and employees and that Congress supports him in his resolve to address corruption in the country. GAC/Expat Media
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