WITH the drug related death toll threatening to breach the 4,000 mark, President Rodrigo Duterte said that his threat to kill criminals is “perfect” even as he is resolved to carry on with his war against drugs and crime.
“There is nothing wrong in threatening criminals with death. By that statement alone: ‘You criminals, I will kill you. Do not fool around.’ It is a perfect statement,” Duterte said.
Describing his critics as “fools,” Duterte reiterated his stance he is not breaking any domestic laws by threatening to kill criminals and pledged the crime war would continue until there were no more illegal drugs in society.
“I will not stop. Be sure of it, you can cast it in whatever stone. I will not stop until the last pusher, until the last drug lord is taken away.”
International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda earlier said she was “deeply concerned” about the violence and signaled Duterte could face prosecution by the ICC for his incitements to killing.
Last month, Duterte said he would be “happy to slaughter” three million drug addicts, and likened his campaign to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s efforts to exterminate Jews in Europe.
He later apologized for his Hitler reference, but said he was “emphatic” about wanting to kill all drug addicts.
Since Duterte took office, police have killed 1,578 people and 2,151 have died in unexplained circumstances, according to official figures released Friday.
The total of 3,729 is 368 more than the previous police update released last week.
Polls show Filipinos overwhelmingly support Duterte’s war on crime but want suspects to be kept alive.
The United States, the European Union and the United Nations have condemned alleged extrajudicial killings and warned of a breakdown in the rule of law.
The Philippine government this week invited UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard to investigate the killings.
But Duterte vowed on Thursday to “humiliate” her and any other critics if they dared to come to the Philippines and investigate.