The controversial Philippine president, a man nicknamed “Duterte Harry” after Clint Eastwood’s cinematic killer cop, has bragged about cruising the streets of the city where he served as mayor, looking for drug dealers so he could kill them.
The president, sometimes called Trump on steroids, has previously said that a phone conversation with the American President-elect, made him “feel like a saint.”
From the Guardian:
Rodrigo Duterte has announced he personally killed suspected criminals when he was mayor of his home city of Davao in the Philippines, cruising the streets on a motorcycle and “looking for trouble”.
The country’s president made the comments in a speech late on Monday night as he discussed his campaign to eradicate illegal drugs, which has seen police and unknown assailants kill around 5,000 people since he became president on 30 June.
“In Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the guys [police officers] that if I can do it, why can’t you,” he was quoted as saying by AFP, talking of his two decades as mayor of the southern city of 1.5 million people.
“And I’d go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around, and I would just patrol the streets, looking for trouble also.
“I was really looking for a confrontation so I could kill.”
More from Agence France Presse:
“I (would) sometimes go along with them. If you say I shot someone, maybe I did. I was closing my eyes because I am scared of firing a gun,” said Duterte, a lawyer and former state prosecutor.
Rights groups have previously accused Duterte of running vigilante death squads in Davao that killed more than 1,000 suspected criminals, including children accused of petty crimes.
Duterte has variously denied and acknowledged involvement in the death squads.
But he easily won presidential elections in May after promising to roll-out his Davao law-and-order policies across the nation.
He pledged that 100,000 people would die in the crackdown and that so many bodies would be dumped in Manila Bay that fish there would grow fat from feeding on them.