PAMPANGA -- President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, December 7, once again responded to criticisms that he ordered the killings of thousands of purported drug offenders, this time, alluding that he might have been behind their deaths.
Duterte gave the hint in a speech delivered during the first Kapampangan Food Festival held here at Fontana Convention Center in Clark, Pampanga.
Prior to his oblique reference to drug-related deaths in the country, Duterte mentioned the public's insinuations that he might have had a hand in the slay of Ozamiz mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and Albuera mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.
Both Parojinog and Espinosa were tagged by Duterte last year as among the government officials involved in the rampant narcotics trade. Parojinog was killed in a police raid on his residence last July 30 while Espinosa was killed inside his detention cell by Criminal Investigation and Detection Group on November 5, 2016.
"When they say I ordered the killing, maybe yes, maybe not. But if you do that, if you use the public office as a platform to drug my country and you are an elected public official and there's no election in the city because you simply kill, and even your own policemen, then sometimes, I would say, maybe it's high time that you go," said Duterte.
"I ordered their killing? Maybe yes, maybe no. Do not go into a guessing game for you might guess it right and I would be sorry for it," he added.
Duterte reiterated his tough stance that the bloody crackdown on illegal drugs will continue, despite loud clamor to end brutality in his war on narcotics.
While he admitted that he does not "enjoy killing" his fellow Filipinos who have links to illegal drugs, the President emphasized that the country is confronted with "very terrible" drug problem.
"If you are the president of this Republic of the Philippines and you know the loss of dignity of your own and only because we are poor, how would you feel?" he said.
"Four million is four million addicts. Forty-two percent of the total villages are contaminated itself. There are 9,000 policemen (also involved in drugs). I don't know if I have to kill them in the shabu business and also, the shabu addicts," he added. (SunStar Philippines)