ANTI-DRUG WAR: Kill only if necessary, Duterte tells police
President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has told local police on the front lines of a war on drugs to kill only if necessary, but warned officers their duty was to arrest suspects and kill only in self-defence.
The firebrand leader, now facing the most intense scrutiny so far in his controversial but popular crackdown has stood firmly behind the anti-drug campaign which has seen the killing of thousands of mostly urban poor Filipinos.
“You are not allowed to kill a person that is kneeling down begging for his life. That is murder,” Duterte said in a speech.
Read also: MANILA: 25 people killed in 14 operations as Duterte’s anti-drug war continues
“When I say you get him, it includes doing the arresting and then if there is a violent resistance, they (police) have to defend themselves.”
Kian Loyd Delos Santos, 17, was among more than 90 people killed in three days of intensified police operations last week that marked the bloodiest chapter of a campaign that has alarmed the international community.
Duterte has overtime vowed to kill more in his anti-drug fight and says he will ask the military to help in the war even as rights group reveals police abuses.
He said the country’s drug problem has become a national security threat saying he does not intend to declare martial law, but added that his controversial war against illegal drugs will continue.
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