The Philippines, like many other locales in the world, is ravaged by criminal activity. It has been said that the goons have made many of its islands unlivable and has poisoned the tourism industry. Desperate times call for desperate measures. In response to the crime, Filipino president-elect Rodrigo Duterte has challenged citizens to take action by taking out the drug dealers and hitters themselves.
Duterte made this call to action during a speech on Saturday in his hometown of Davao City (which he made one of the safest cities in the Philippines during his 22-year term as mayor). He encouraged citizens to aid the police in arresting or killing criminals wreaking havoc, offering commendations if they chose to. “Please feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have the gun — you have my support,” he told the crowd, regarding eliminating the criminal element. “Shoot him and I’ll give you a medal.”
Filipino law allows for any citizen over the age of 21 and employed full-time can apply for a gun license and cop straps after background tests.
The goons aren’t the only object of Duterte’s ire. He is also gunning at corrupt police officers who aid underworld figures. “If you’re still into drugs, I will kill you, don’t take this as a joke. I’m not trying to make you laugh, son of a bitch, I will really kill you,” he said in a statement to three police generals he accused of “crucifying the Filipino.” The crowd met these words with cheers and jeers, according to Breitbart.
According to reports:
Duterte also accused a number of police officials who had previously been investigated for corruption of giving their colleagues bribes to keep their jobs. He is seeking to reopen many of these cases to find evidence of bribery. The Philippine Star notes that calling out police corruption was a cornerstone of the Duterte campaign, with the president-elect going so far as to threaten to burn down a prison notorious for being a hub of drug trafficking, with the quiet blessing of its guards. He has also vowed to shut down the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), once again citing corruption.
Last week, Duterte announced he would provide bounties for both police and civilians who manage to capture drug offenders “dead or alive,” using the money left over from his presidential campaign. He reiterated this promise Monday, asserting that he had enough money left in his coffers to pay for the arrest or killing of 200 criminals.
Duterte reportedly announced that he has “money good for 200 persons.” Using the words, “Tanang drug lord ihawa ninyo (Kill all the drug lords),” he said he has $110,000 on the heads of “large-scale drug traffickers” and is offering $21,600 for smaller fish.