Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte yesterday vowed to introduce executions by hanging as part of a ruthless law-and-order crackdown that would also include ordering military snipers to kill suspected criminals.
The tough-talking Davao City mayor said security forces would be given “shoot-to-kill” orders and that citizens would learn to fear the law.
“Those who destroy the lives of our children will be destroyed,” Duterte said, outlining his war on crime once he is sworn into office on June 30. “Those who kill my country will be killed. Simple as that. No middle ground. No apologies. No excuses.”
Duterte also vowed to roll out Davao law-and-order measures on a nationwide basis, including a 2am curfew on drinking in public places and a ban on children walking on the streets alone late at night. Smoking in restaurants and hotels is also to be banned.
Duterte said a central part of his war on crime would be to bring back the death penalty, which was abolished in 2006 under then-Philippine president Gloria Arroyo.
Duterte said he would ask the Philippine Congress to reintroduce capital punishment for a wide range of crimes, including drug trafficking, rape, murder, robbery and kidnapping-for-ransom. He said he prefers death by hanging to a firing squad, because he does not want to waste bullets and he believes snapping the spine with a noose is more humane.
For people convicted of two major crimes, Duterte said he wanted them hanged twice.
“After you are hanged first, there will be another ceremony for the second time until the head is completely severed from the body. I like that, because I am mad,” he said.
The centerpiece of Duterte’s stunningly successful election campaign was a pledge to end crime within three to six months of being elected.
Duterte vowed during the campaign to kill tens of thousands criminals, outraging his critics, but hypnotizing tens of millions of Filipinos fed up with rampant crime and graft.
He said on one occasion that 100,000 people would die, adding that so many bodies would be dumped in Manila Bay that the fish would grow fat from feeding on them.
In an initial news conference late on Sunday, Duterte said his “shoot-to-kill” orders would be given for those involved in organized crime or who resisted arrest.
On his ban on children walking alone late at night, Duterte said the parents of repeat offenders would be arrested and thrown into jail for “abandonment.”
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III repeatedly said during the Philippine presidential election campaign that Duterte was a dictator in the making and would bring terror to the nation.
Duterte has been accused of running vigilante death squads during his more than two decades as mayor of Davao, a city of about 2 million people that Duterte said he has turned into one of the nations safest.
Rights groups say the squads — made up of police, hired assassins and ex-communist rebels — have killed more than 1,000 people, with children and petty criminals among the victims.
Duterte also made international headlines for constant use of vulgar language, including on one occasion branding the pope a “son of a whore.”
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