“If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself, as getting their parents to do it would be too painful,” he told people in a Manila slum he was visiting after taking his presidential oath.
Duterte has not shied away from making other rather shocking requests to the public. Early last month, the former lawyer and mayor made similar comments urging citizens to fight crime by turning in and even killing suspected drug dealers.
“If a drug dealer resists arrest or refuses to be brought to a police station and threatens a citizen with a gun or a knife, “you can kill him,” Duterte said in a nationally televised speech in early June. “Shoot him and I’ll give you a medal.”
But in what seems to be an escalation, the 71-year-old president is now suggesting that the responsibility for the country’s drug problem rests with addicts themselves and that killing them would be good business for funeral parlors.
“I assure you you won’t go bankrupt. If your business slows I will tell the police, ‘Do it faster to help the people earn money,’ ” he told the crowd.
Duterte, who was sworn in as president this week, has been accused of having previous links to vigilante death squads in Davao, the Guardian reported. His presidential campaign was focused largely on what he described as his fight against corruption and illegal drugs.
Human rights groups have told reporters that they are concerned that Duterte’s comments regarding fighting crime and corruption in the Philippines might lead to rights violations.