I'm ready to go to prison: Duterte

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Friday, January 10, 2014


DAVAO CITY -- Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he is ready to be sent to jail for the Filipino farmers, whom he said are most affected by the rice smuggling activities in the city.

The mayor’s statement came after the Commission on Human Rights called “unethical” his death warnings against rice smugglers in Davao City.

But he said he maintains his stance to "kill" rice smugglers until they stop their illegal activities in the city.

"I'm willing to go to prison for the Filipino farmers. Actually. I'm old. I have few years to live. Papatayin ko talaga kayo. Hindi ako nagbibiro," Duterte told reporters during a press conference at the Waterfront Insular Hotel on Wednesday. ALSO READ: Duterte: Rice smugglers face death

“We're losing billions and billions of pesos and reducing the Filipino farmer to poverty. At itong mga taga human rights will just think of ethics? Anong unethical? Talagang gagawin ko. Point out to me a law which is I cannot threaten the criminals. Shut up! I said you have nothing between your ears," he added.

Marc Titus Cebreros, chief of the CHR Information and Communication Division, and CHR Chairman Loretta Ann Rosales stressed that Duterte's statement was “unethical”. READ: Vice mayor: Rice smuggling is Customs’ weakness

"It's unbecoming of a public official like him. It gives the impression that we are not living under a government of laws," Cebreros said in a report posted on ABS-CBN website.

Duterte, on the other hand, said "It's not their problem, that's mine. If I take the law into my hands and kill somebody, I'm going to answer for that. It's not their problem actually. The problem is the Customs and the smuggled rice.

Duterte said smuggling has been going on since time immemorial and "nobody has really stopped it".

"No amount of threats from government, prosecution ang nakapahinto nitong smuggling. This has been going on and is controlled by few men parang cartel. Sa totoo lang, kung walang Pilipino na papatay para sa taong-bayan at takot namang mamatay, walang mangyayari sa bayan na to," he said.

He stressed that there is nothing wrong with his statement.

"Sige baguhin ko, kayong mga smugglers, huwag kayong mag smuggle para hindi kayo mamatay. Is that acceptable to them?" he said.

He said the CHR is only good at accosting him, but has never did the same on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (Pdaf) anomaly.

"Not a single statement about ethics (on Pdaf). Etong akin patayin ko lang ang mga criminals," he said.

Meanwhile, Duterte said a certain Davidson Tan Bangayan, who is allegedly involved with rice smuggling, is not a citizen of Davao City.

He said a certain David Tan, and not David Tan Bangayan, is from Cebu.

"Walang Bangayan diyan. Fictitious yan," he said. (Sun.Star Davao)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 10, 2014.

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