Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a press conference. File photo
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte publicly ordered the country’s top customs official to shoot and kill drug smugglers in one of his most overt threats during a deadly four-year campaign that has been the centerpiece of his presidency.
Duterte has steadfastly denied authorizing extrajudicial killings but has repeatedly and openly threatened drug dealers with death. He and the national police, which has led enforcement of his anti-drug campaign, have said most of the suspects killed by police during the campaign fought back and threatened the lives of law enforcers.
Duterte gave the order to Bureau of Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero in televised remarks from a Cabinet meeting on the coronavirus pandemic Monday night.
Guerrero, a retired army general and former military chief of staff, was not around when Duterte spoke, but the president said he met Guerrero and two other officials earlier Monday at the presidential palace in Manila.
"Drug is still flowing inside the country through customs,” Duterte said, adding he has earlier approved Guerrero's request for firearms. "I approved the purchase of firearms and until now you haven’t killed even one? I told him, 'Shape up.’”
"I told him straight, 'Drugs is still flowing in. I’d like you to kill there... anyway, I’ll back you up and you won’t get jailed. If it’s drugs, you shoot and kill. That’s the arrangement,” Duterte said without elaborating.
More than 5,700 mostly poor drug suspects have been killed under Duterte’s anti-drug crackdown, which has alarmed human rights groups and Western governments and sparked an examination of alleged crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court. Duterte has vowed to continue the deadly crackdown in his remaining two years in power.
The human rights groups have said their investigations showed some suspects were killed mercilessly then police officers altered the scene and placed firearms in the victims’ hands to make it appear that they fought back. Police have said the rights groups and critics should file criminal complaints in court if they have evidence against officers.Associated Press
About half the country's roughly 110 million people are currently under quarantine — including millions in deep poverty, left jobless by tough restrictions on movement.
President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte on Wednesday said he would not face an international tribunal to be presided over by a foreigner, particularly a Caucasian, in connection the the alleged alarming rise in killings from the his brutal and violent war on illegal drugs.
Robredo, who was elected separately to Duterte and has a frosty relationship with the president, said the thousands of people killed was already too many, with no evidence of a decline in drugs supply or usage.
Sheikh Mohamed was received by Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, at Hamad International Airport.
Vladimir Putin has fallen down the stairs at his official residence and soiled himself while continuing to suffer from cancer, a Telegram channel which claims links to his bodyguards has suggested, Daily Mail reported.
A Jordanian policewoman saved a young man from committing suicide from a bridge in the capital Amman. The policewoman appeared begging him to abandon the idea of ending his life, according to a video circulating on social media.
A man contacted another via the “Snapchat” application to buy a valuable watch from him, and after agreeing on the price, the first transferred to the watch owner Dhs80,000, while the latter did not deliver the watch and delayed returning its price.