Duterte hits out at critics of death penalty
DAVAO CITY - President Rodrigo Duterte hits out at “stupid” human rights campaigners, as he defended his imminent war on crime and emphasised the death penalty was for retribution.
Duterte gave a lengthy speech recently in Davao City to outline his vision for the nation with a heavy focus on his controversial plans to fight crime.
“These human rights [groups], congressmen, how stupid you are,” Duterte said, as he highlighted their criticism of his plans to impose late-night curfews on children being out on the streets and to reintroduce the death penalty.
“I believe in retribu- tion. Why? You should pay. When you kill someone, rape, you should die,” he said.
Duterte, 71, won the May presidential elections in a landslide after campaigning largely on a platform of ending rampant crime, warning that the country was in danger of becoming a narco-state.
He promised that tens of thousands of people would die, with security forces being given shoot to kill orders. Since winning Duterte has also promised to give bounties to police for killing drug dealers, and also encouraged ordinary citizens to kill or arrest suspects.
“When they describe or characterise a human rights violator, these fools make it appear that the people you kill are saints, as if they are pitiful or innocent,” he said.
Duterte said European ambassadors were also among those who had expressed concern over the death penalty and extrajudicial killings.
The Philippines abolished the death penalty in 2006 following fierce opposition from the Catholic Church, the religion of 80 per cent of Filipinos.
Duterte previously said he preferred death by hanging to a firing squad because he did not want to waste bullets, and because he believed snapping the spine with a noose was more humane.