MUST READ Duterte : I am ready to be imprisoned
Despite the criticisms and allegations of his involvement on the killings of criminals, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he is ready to be put to jail alone for waging the war against drugs that have turned into a bloody mess. “In accordance with my order, I will assume full legal responsibility and I will go to jail alone. That’s the guarantee I can give you,” Duterte said, addressing the Army’s 1st Scout Ranger Regiment yesterday. “For all the things you do that are connected with your work, I will take charge. I am ready to be imprisoned.
This was after the self-confessed ex-DDS member Egdar Matobato disclosed that Duterte was behind the killing of criminals during his term as the mayor of Davao City. However, he did not directly reference the Senate hearing during his speech. According to him, he was a favourite ‘whipping boy’ in Davao City because his campaign against drugs is aggressive. “Twenty-seven generals were recommended for dismissal… I almost waged a revolution. I did not allow it to happen. Son of a whore, don’t give me that bullshit,” he said.
Duterte has elevated the drug problem of the country into a national security issue as there are about 3.7 million drug addicts nationwide. He said that it has reached “epidemic” proportions. Based on the latest reports, almost 3,000 people have been killed—about half of the number died during police operations.
During his speech, he reminded the policemen and soldiers to also protect their lives. He disclosed that he is planning to establish a reward system for low enforcers who are able to kill drug lords.
Meanwhile, Presidential communications secretary Martin Andanar insisted that Duterte did not order the killings as said by the witness. “That has been investigated before by the Commission on Human Rights, when the President was still mayor (of Davao City). No charges were filed and they did not see any evidence,” he said.
On the other hand, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella called on to the public to be cautious in weighing the statements of the witness. “After all, people do make statements every day and while this person may sound credible, it is imperative that each and every one of us properly weigh whatever he said and respond right.”