PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday slammed a report by an international human rights group that claimed his first six months in office was a “human rights calamity” for the Philippines, warning of “more killings to come.”
Duterte said he did not order police to kill specific targets and that authorities planted evidence to justify the deaths, as he explained anew that drug suspects were killed simply because they resisted authorities.
“When you kill criminals, it is not a crime against humanity. The criminals have no humanity, goddamnit,” Duterte told reporters in a chance interview in Cebu.
“My orders to the police and the military [were]very clear: Go out, hunt for them. Make them surrender so that you would [find out]their connections so we could gather evidence. But if they present a violent resistance, thereby placing your life in danger, son of a b***h, kill them,” he added.
President Duterte told critics, particularly the clergy, to watch out for more deaths in his drug war.
“I am committed to stopping drugs before I go out, which means to say, Father, Monsignor, Bishop, there will be more killings because they really fight back,” he said.
“It will not end tomorrow for as long as there is drug pusher and a drug lord,” the President added.
Malacañang said that contrary to HRW’s report, the Philippines averted a calamity when more than 1.1 million drug pushers and addicts submitted themselves to authorities.
“Is it a human rights calamity when the sheer scope and magnitude of an emerging narco state have been exposed?” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
The Palace official also said the “planting [of]evidence to justify police action is an allegation, nothing more.”
Abella said such claims should be backed by “solid evidence, eyewitness accounts and sworn statements or affidavits.”
The Palace official then criticized HRW for recommending the suspension of foreign assistance to the Philippines.
“We would advise special interest groups to do their homework more diligently before attempting to engage in propaganda,” Abella said.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) also dared the human rights group to produce evidence of police involvement in summary killings.
Sr. Supt. Dionardo Carlos, PNP spokesman, said the newly formed Counter-Intelligence Task Force (CITF) would immediately act on any evidence submitted.
Carlos lamented the HRW’s “hasty generalization.”
He noted that the PNP had arrested “alive” 48,000 drug suspects during operations. “What is their tipping point? 24 is crime against humanity?” he asked.