Philippine president acknowledges abuses in drug war
Aug.5, Manila: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte acknowledged abuses have occurred in his war on illegal drugs, which has left more than 400 people dead in a month and alarmed rights activists, but refused to back down from a shoot-to-kill order for drug suspects, reports said.
Duterte said in a speech late Thursday that most drug dealers and addicts slain in gunbattles with police had put up a fight, but added that he was sure some were "salvaged," a local slang for extrajudicial killings usually by law enforcers.
In the case of illegal killings, Duterte said the government will investigate.
"They really fight back, I know that," Duterte said in a speech in southern Davao city, where he built a name as a mayor for his extra tough approach to crime before becoming president. "I'm sure there are some who were salvaged, I am also sure of that."
Duterte's centerpiece anti-crime drive, focused on an ambitious campaign promise to end the widespread drugs problem in six months, has left more than 400 drug suspects dead, many of them either in firefights with police or under suspect circumstances. More than 4,400 have been arrested, police said.
The unprecedented killings have scared more than half a million drug users and dealers who gave themselves up to police, officials said. An overwhelmed Duterte has said he was considering setting aside areas in military camps nationwide to build rehabilitation centers for those who surrender, the Associated Press reported.
The Oslo Times International News Network