Rodrigo Duterte’s speeches are never dull. Source: Wikimedia
The Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte, has admitted he has killed criminal suspects to show the police how it was done.
He said he used to explore the Mindanao city of Davao on his motorbike “looking for trouble”.
While mayor of the previously lawless southern city for around 20 years he led a bloody crackdown on crime, which become a blueprint for the policy he has rolled out across the crime-plagued archipelago.
“Killings used to happen in police encounters. And I know it, because in Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the guys that if I can do it, why can’t you?”
Controversy surrounding his war on drugs has raged internationally.
In July, 60,000 drug addicts handed themselves in to the government after Duterte urged citizens to “go ahead and kill” drug dealers and addicts. Around 6,000 drug users have been executed by the police and vigilante-style killings in five months.
On a slightly hypocritical note, Duterte said he was exceeding the recommended dose of the painkiller fentanyl to relieve pain after a “bad slip”.
“I have this migraine every day. I had a bad slip … I hit my head on the cement. I have a lot of issues with my spine.
“I was only given a fourth of [the whole patch], but no more, because of course my doctor learned that I was using the whole patch because I felt better,” Duterte said.
“When he knew it, he made me stop and he said, ‘The first thing you would lose is your cognitive ability.'”
In addition to the pain, Duterte said he suffered from Buerger’s disease, due to his years of smoking.
During a speech at the presidential palace, Duterte said: “If they say that I am afraid to stop because of the human rights and guys … including Obama, sorry, I am not about to do that.”
Duterte “Harry” said he did not attend sessions at a recent Asean summit in Laos because he wanted to avoid an “awkward situation” with President Barack Obama.
“I was there. I attended the meetings, actually,” he told an event in Manila.
“But you know, Obama was there, and because we had an exchange of words, I was just trying to avoid an awkward situation.”
Just before the summit, Duterte had called Obama a “son of a bitch,” prompting the White House to cancel a meeting with the new president.
During the conference, his spokesman said Duterte “was not feeling well” which is why he failed to attend the meetings with the US.
Foreign minister Perfecto Yasay represented Duterte.
“I would not know if he would accept my gesture of a handshake,” said the outspoken president. “And because I did not want to create a scene, an awkward situation, I just stayed on the sidelines.”