Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has pledged to continue his ‘brutal’ crusade against illegal drugs, notwithstanding threats of impeachment.
“The drive against corruption, criminality, and drugs will resume and it will continue and it will be brutal,” he declared.
He has also directed law enforcers to shoot to kill any suspect that threatens them. “If you place the guys’ lives in jeopardy … my order is to shoot you,” Duterte warned.
He said that instead of a cop or soldier falling or getting hurt in the line of duty, he would rather see “thousands or millions” of criminal suspects killed.
The president has been accused of corruption, violating the constitution and betraying public trust by opposition congressman Gary Alejano, who also filed an impeachment complaint. Duterte has also been condemned for the several thousand deaths caused by the surge of extrajudicial killings in his war on drugs.
The Philippine National Police has repeatedly maintained that its officers only shoot in self-defense. Moreover, after the testimonies of confessed hitmen, Edgardo Matobato and Arturo Lascanas were made public, the former assassins’ attorney, Jude Sabio has made threats about filing a lawsuit against Duterte in the International Criminal Court.
In an interview with the press before his flight to Myanmar, the president remarked: “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.”
“Follow the law and we are alright. Drop shabu and nobody will die tomorrow,” Duterte continued. “I rose on what I promised and I will fall on that.”
The casualty count of President Duterte’s war on drugs runs at approximately 8,000 dead since it started almost a year ago.
He emphasized Sunday: “I will deliver on my promises, even if it would cost me my life, my honor, and the presidency. I can lose them all but I will comply with my promise.”