After Duterte: Philippine mayor offers bounties for slain criminals


MANILA: The incoming mayor of a major Philippine city said Friday he was offering bounties to police to kill criminals, deepening concerns of extra-judicial deaths under the rule of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

Tomas Osmeña, incoming mayor of central Cebu city said he would pay policemen 50,000 pesos ($1,060) for each criminal they kill and 5,000 pesos for each one they wound.

“If you kill a criminal in the line of duty, (you’ll be rewarded), no questions asked. I’m there to assist the police, not to prosecute them,” Osmeña told Agence France-Presse by telephone. “That is my purpose: to instill fear in the criminals. If they want to commit crimes, they get into war with me. I will see to it that they will be casualties.”

Asked if such rewards might encourage vigilante killings, Osmena said: “I’m not going to suppress vigilantes.”

Osmeña’s pledge comes after Duterte, the longtime mayor of southern Davao city, won the May 9 presidential elections in a landslide largely due to a controversial law-and-order platform headlined by a vow to kill tens of thousands of criminals.

Duterte vowed during the campaign to wipe out crime within six months by unleashing security forces with shoot-to-kill orders.

He said 100,000 criminals would die in his crackdown, and that so many bodies would be dumped in Manila Bay that the fish there would grow fat from feeding on them.

Since winning the election, Duterte also said he would bring back the death penalty, with hanging as his preferred method of execution.

Asked if he was following Duterte’s example, Osmeña, a member of a powerful family and a former Cebu mayor, said: “I’m not encouraged by him. But I think he is doing the right thing.”

Osmena said the bounties would not come from government funds but would not disclose their source.

Osmeña already gave a reward this week of 20,000 pesos to a Cebu policeman who wounded two robbers in a gun battle, Superintendent Oscar Monteroyo of the Cebu police civil relations office told AFP.

Duterte’s spokesman, Salvador Panelo, said the incoming president would not allow extra-judicial killings, though he declined to condemn the bounties.

“Maybe mayor Osmeña is just joking, attempting a new gimmick so that his administration will be popular. To each his own,” Panelo said. AFP



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  1. David Michael Meyer on

    If this is true ….;It gives rise for concern –The police are bound by rule of law..They cant be turned in bounty hunters ..T

    his means the police will be more interested n collecting the bounty than upholding the law..T

    he sort of thing that the mayor -is engendering–could have the effect of starting a group of vigilante police ,,,,This is not what is wanted –where the police become as bad as the criminals ; they are hinting for ..

    .If we want to mimic the Old west .Where the rule of the gun was law–Then this is a good way to start…

    Why does he not give more powers to the Barangay police ?

    ..To my mind what the presumptive President is suggesting –Will weaken the public’s perception of the police force even more ..

    .They will say that the police are after the bounties; rather than justice…you know something; they would be right too !

    David M Meyer (PhD Psych }