APPOINTED presidential spokesman lawyer Salvador Panelo clarified Friday that incoming President Rodrigo Duterte is not endorsing extra-judicial killings.
Panelo issued such statement following the criticism from the United Nation (UN) over Duterte's reported statement that seemed to be endorsing extra-judicial killing.
Duterte, who will take his oath on June 30, earlier told the media that journalists who took bribes or engaged in other corrupt activities were legitimate targets of assassination.
UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, in his speech in New York on Wednesday, said he was extremely disturbed by Duterte's remarks.
Ban said he unequivocally condemn the incoming president's apparent endorsement of extra-judicial killings, which is illegal and a breach of fundamental rights and freedoms.
Panelo said Ban obviously believed the incorrect news reports that gave rise to such wrong perception. He added that Duterte has not endorsed extra-judicial killings.
"It is unfortunate that the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has issued a statement condemning what he perceives to be an endorsement by president-elect Rodrigo Duterte of extra-judicial killings," Panelo said.
Panelo said Duterte has not endorsed-cannot-and will never endorse extra-judicial killing of journalists nor any citizen for that matter, regardless of its purpose.
He said that Duterte, as president, is bound by his constitutional duty to enforce the law, and under no circumstances will he deviate from it.
"The president-elect's utterances on media killings were reported incorrectly giving rise to the wrong perception that he was encouraging lawless violence," Panelo said.
Panelo said Duterte chastises media persons who practice irresponsible journalism. He added that the Duterte reiterates his fealty to the constitution as well as his determination to suppress criminality in any form.
He added that under a Duterte presidency, the Bill of Rights as enshrined in the constitution shall be in full bloom. (ICT)