PRESIDENT Duterte has been accused of condoning or encouraging illegal killings since he was Davao City mayor, until now as his war on illegal drugs escalates.

His administration is blamed for 3,700 deaths, a record French newspaper “Liberation” emblazoned on its Oct. 7 front page. “Rodrigo Duterte: Le Serial Killer” led off a four-page story.

The title shocks. The killings have been condemned but this is the first time he’s placed in the category of Jack the Ripper or Charles Manson.

“Liberation” has been shaky on its finances (a $1.3-million loss three years ago) and it’s a left-wing paper known for catchy headlines, But “Libe” is an iconic brand in French media, founded by Jean Paul Sartre in 1973, and chief rival of “Le Monde.”

DILG Secretary Mike Sueno called the label unfair. But then each news culture has its standards of fairness. Check out accuracy instead.

“Serial killer” involves the killing of three or more persons (FBI requires four) to serve an “abnormal psychological gratification,” with a cooling off between murders.

More than enough victims to qualify serial killing but the “psycho” thing? Tough to hold Duterte criminally liable, much more tag him as a psycho.

Not only is he exempt from prosecution until after his term. No evidence to link him to the deaths.

Police own some of the killings while vigilantes allegedly did the rest.

Not one

Duterte himself talked about legal exemption of those who merely cheer (even, one assumes, if it’s the commander-in-chief cheering). And no executive order, PCIJ has uncovered, directs the current campaign. What guidelines then have police followed?

Must not be the PNP manual, which orders an investigation on even a simple firing of a cop’s gun.

Duterte a serial killer? He talks occasionally of having killed people but no one can solidly pin on him any of the recent 3,700 deaths.