President Rodrigo Duterte says he once threw out a kidnapper from a helicopter when he was mayor of Davao and would not mind doing it again.
The hard-man president of the Philippines has already admitted killing suspected criminals and now says he will impose the same punishment on corrupt officials.
“If you are corrupt, I will fetch you with a helicopter and I will throw you out on the way to Manila,” Duterte said, as cited by the Philippine Star newspaper. “I have done that before, why should I not do it again?”
Duterte added that his anti-corruption campaign, like his anti-drug operation, will be a top priority during his presidential term.
The Philippines president was giving a speech in Camarines Sur province during his visit of areas affected by Typhoon Nina. The typhoon rocked the region on Sunday, bringing strong winds, heavy rain and cutting off power. Thousands in coastal villages in the region were forced to evacuate.
Earlier in December, Duterte said he personally killed suspected criminals during his time as mayor of Davao, saying he patrolled the streets on a motorcycle “looking for trouble.”
His speech has not gone unnoticed and the Philippines Commission on Human Rights said it will investigate Duterte’s confession that he killed three suspected criminals in Davao.
Justice Minister Vitaliano Aguirre, however, was among the top officials who shrugged off Duterte’s statements as an exaggeration.
“It’s like a hyperbole – that’s the president. He is used to exaggerate[ing] just to put his message across,” Reuters quoted Aguirre as saying.
Almost every Duterte speech hits the headlines. In October, he said that Obama, whom he has previously publicly called a “son of a bitch,” should “go to hell.” He has also promised that he will “humiliate” UN, EU and American representatives after inviting them to investigate his war on drugs.
Duterte, who was elected president after promising to crack down on drugs, repeatedly dismissed all criticism of his policies in unflattering terms.
During his election campaign, Duterte admitted to being behind the Davao Death Squad, a group responsible for the deaths of hundreds of alleged petty criminals and drug dealers while he was the mayor of Davao.
Philippine National Police (PNP) statistics seemed to show that over 3,800 people have been killed by either vigilantes or police since Duterte took office in July.
In November, Duterte lashed out at European lawyers, saying that they have “brains like a pea,” while asserting that Western courts are “bulls**t.”
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