Duterte’s off-with-your-head’ bounty-A A +A
Monday, October 29, 2012
“GIVE me the law that prevents the police from going after fugitives.”
--Rodrigo Duterte, vice mayor and candidate for mayor, Davao City
IT’S police duty to arrest fugitives, which law enforcers at times miserably fail to perform. Ruben Ecleo Jr., cult leader and ex-congressman convicted of corruption and his wife’s murder, is scandalously free.
No, it’s not illegal to hunt down accused or convicted criminals. But yes, it’s illegal to gun them down and behead them.
In offering P2 million bounty for the arrest of Ryan Yu, suspected carjacking syndicate leader, Duterte showed zeal. In inducing the killing and beheading of Yu with a P4-P5 million price tag, the vice mayor went beyond realm of legality, turning himself into a crime principal by inducement and a rogue public official sworn to uphold the law.
Yes, the state can legally put up reward for a suspect’s or convict’s capture. But no, it cannot commission his liquidation.
There’s no capital punishment: even a person found guilty by a court of law cannot be executed.
Yu is armed and dangerous, Duterte said. Then police should be on alert and defend themselves but they’ve no license to kill. Police have to justify a suspect’s death and a severed head would be bit difficult to explain.
Is it human rights, due-process legalese that coddles criminals and terrorists? Must we encourage vigilantism and, as Duterte urged, not “castrate” government?
Alternative is lawlessness by the state with power of life and death left to political gods like Duterte.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 30, 2012.