US backs anti-crime drive, but ‘within law’

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte

THE United States cooperates with efforts by the Philippine government to fight crime and protect its citizens against such threats but the measures have to be carried out within the bounds of law, a US Embassy official in Manila said.

The official made the statement when asked for comments on incoming President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-crime drive, including his call on the public to make citizen’s arrests when faced particularly with drug traffickers caught in the act and to shoot them if they fight back and resist arrest.

Earlier, the former crime-crushing mayor of Davao City said in a nationally televised speech: “If he fights, and he fights to the death, you can kill him…  Do it yourself if you have the gun…you have my support.”

In a text message to The Manila Times on Wednesday, Emma Nagy, press attaché of the US Embassy in Manila, said, “The rule of law is fundamental to the peace and prosperity of any country.”

“The United States cooperates with all Philippine law enforcement agencies to protect Philippine citizens against criminal threats, including drug smuggling, trafficking in persons, financial crimes and trademark violations,” she added.

Other embassies sought for comment gave no response.

The United Nations earlier slammed the tough-talking politician for supposedly instigating deadly violence, especially against journalists, when he justified the killing of
media men who did “anything wrong.”

UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions Christof Heyns said Duterte’s recent remarks are “irresponsible in the extreme, and unbecoming of any leader.”

UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression David Kaye said,  “Justifying the killing of journalists on the basis of how they conduct their professional activities can be understood as a permissive signal to potential killers that the murder of journalists is acceptable in certain circumstances and would not be punished.”

A report from US-based Committee to Protect Journalists stated that the Philippines, where at least 75 journalists have been killed since 1992, is the second-deadliest country for journalists.

In a separate statement, Kurt Hoyer, spokesman for the US Embassy in Manila, said Washington will defend press freedom.

“The United States values an open and free press and we will continue to speak out regularly to defend the rights of the press. Our position on the protection of journalists and the rule of law is very clear,” he added.

British Ambassador to Manila Asif Ahmad said the United Kingdom is “totally committed to the elimination and condemnation” of the killing of journalists.

“There is a huge responsibility for any office holder to show respect for the office that they hold and respect for the people that they have the privilege to govern for,” he added in an interview.

“As President Duterte, we expect (of him) a different tone because everything he says will be on behalf of the nation. This is not an issue where he is speaking personally,” Ahmad said.


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  1. We have laws but the rich and influential are just skirting it. They don’t even have conscience. For those who are guilty, it is all their fault.

  2. The UN rapporteur D Kaye hit the wrong nail using incorrect hammer. Duterte didn’t justify the killing of journalists. What he said was …. No one knows that next victim is a journalist. And even your a journalists your not exempted from assassination. It’s clear he’s not in favor of journalists kiling. But corrupt journalist is not exempted to assassination,just like corrupt politicians,businessmen,drug lords-dealers-protectors,rapist,plunderer,traitors,economic saboteurs, kidnappers etc. Whoever you are. You me and him and she and them are not exempted. So what’s your problem??

  3. But in Philippines–paid journalist by some groups (corrupt) or in other words in the side, maybe deserved it–And if there is real justice and the judicial is beyond doubt and “firm and fair”, highly professional–then this things will not happen. It is injustice to everyone, because of too corrupt of institution.

  4. Jun Marlang Estioko on

    How does that differ to the shooting and killing of criminal elements in the US when they held hostages and treatening to kill them? This is the same in the Philippines because these drug lords have been holding this and the future generations hostages by selling at will drugs with the support of corrupt military personnel and politicians.

  5. All are within the law to fight crimes…..Killings the criminals is within the law when they resist the police……..Another soft idiot…..

  6. tony de leon on

    don’t worry uncle sam. ka digong said if the criminals resist arrests or fight back then the police and military will just return fire and finish them off. isn’t that reasonable and practical?

  7. they have their own problems, we have ours.
    let them solve theirs and we will solve ours as we see fit;
    let’s see who’ll be more successful.

  8. Questions : Can Duterte complete his 6 year term ? My opinion, he cannot complete his 6 year term 100 percent, unless he change his style of management. His metamorphosis . He is attacking groups in many fronts. Even Germany during the time of Hitler lost because he attacked countries in 2 fronts. , the US and England in one front and Russia in the second front. I am not against Duterte. In fact I like him to succeed for our county sake but I am also a realist. He has to change his persona 100 percent. His violent temper, his foul mouth and bad decision making.

    • Angelina Ang on

      Old Habits and Character Never Die

      “Watch your thoughts; they become words.
      Watch your words; they become actions.

      Watch your actions; they become habits.
      Watch your habits; they become character.

      Watch your character; it becomes your destiny
      That may lead to your destruction.”

      We can only pray for a KARMA to come in due course of time

  9. The Philippines does not need America’s advice how to fight criminality. USA is the one who do not respect law and has low regard for life and human rights: Many believed the the number one terrorist is the state of US and Israel.

    The most wrongly convicted prisoners a lot of those are colored people.
    Has the most shooting of an unarmed civilian suspect, mostly colored people are the victims.
    Has the most illegal arrest, and victims are hidden or detained in foreign prisons to hise it from American public.

  10. kale alaskador on

    How our government deals with crime is our business. Other countries have no business telling our government what to do or how to run things.

    It is only AFTER the government has intentionally committed abuses on human rights that other countries through their representatives can accuse the Philippine government of such abuses if any.

  11. Jose Samilin on

    I could see this very clearly about Duterte. He is not violating the law and since he is not yet acting as President he is not intending to violate any law, locally or internationally. All these negative views about Duterte has no basis at all or as a result of their own views of all these writers that Duterte is a stupid, and as simple as that. Reasonable people understand that.