MANILA - More than 150 local officials, congressmen, judges, policemen and soldiers are linked to the narcotics trade, President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday (Aug 7), as he warned them to turn themselves in or face the consequences.
He said in a speech at a military camp in his southern home city of Davao that security forces assigned to those on the list would be withdrawn. He also cancelled the firearms licences of those he named.
Mr Duterte said the errant government officials should report to the interior ministry, the judges to the justice ministry, and the policemen and soldiers to their units.
“Or else, I will order the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines to hunt you,” he warned.
Mr Duterte named at least seven judges, 52 current and former mayors and vice-mayors, three congressmen, and 95 policemen and soldiers.
“This is not personal to me. I am not your enemy. I don’t have ill feelings towards you. But I am angry now,” he said, addressing those in his list.
He said he is taking full responsibility for what will happen following his disclosure.
“Any mistake of the military and police here, I will take responsibility. I ordered the listing, revalidation. I am the one reading it, and I am the sole person responsible for the same,” he said.
On Friday (Aug 5), Mr Duterte stood pat on his “shoot-to-kill” order against drug dealers, and said he “does not care about human rights”.
Some 800 people have lost their lives in extrajudicial killings since Mr Duterte won the election by a landslide on May 9.
“This campaign (of) shoot-to-kill will remain until the last day of my term if I’m still alive by then,” the 71-year-old said at a news conference.“I don’t care about human rights, believe me,” he said.
Mr Duterte dismissed critics’ suggestions that some of the 402 suspects whose killings have been acknowledged by the police were “salvaged”, the local police term for summary execution.
Hundreds of others have been killed by unnamed vigilantes.
Mr Duterte dismissed a call from the UN anti-drugs office to stop the rash of killings. “These NGOs (non-governmental organisations) that are complaining to the United Nations, this is none of their business,” he said.
He added: “I’m waging a war. I am now invoking the articles of war.”
Duterte said he had no fear the anti-crime campaign would cause his impeachment and removal from office.
“The Filipino is crying for justice” from crimes committed by drug dependents, he said. Police say more than 500,000 people have surrendered to the local authorities and pledged to stop using illegal drugs.