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Philippine president Duterte says he'll kill his own son if he is involved in drug trafficking

Protests have erupted in the Philippines over the controversial president’s war on drugs.

File photo of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.
File photo of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.
Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT RODRIGO Duterte has said he will have his son killed if drug trafficking allegations against the younger politician are true, and that the police who carry out the hit will be protected from prosecution.

Paolo Duterte, 42, this month appeared before a senate inquiry to deny accusations made by an opposition lawmaker he was a member of a Chinese triad who helped smuggle in a huge shipment of crystal methamphetamine from China.

President Duterte did not refer to the allegations specifically but reiterated his statement from last year’s election campaign that none of his children were involved in drugs, but they would face the harshest punishment if they were.

“I said before my order was: ‘If I have children who are into drugs, kill them so people will not have anything to say’,” Duterte said in a speech last night before government workers at the presidential palace in Manila.

“So I told Pulong (Paolo’s nickname): ‘My order is to kill you if you are caught. And I will protect the police who kill you, if it is true’,” he said.

Duterte, 72, won the presidential elections on a brutal law-and-order platform in which he promised an unprecedented campaign to eradicate illegal drugs in society by killing up to 100,000 traffickers and addicts.

Since he assumed office in the middle of last year, police have reported killing more than 3,800 people in anti-drug operations while thousands of others have been murdered in unexplained circumstances.

Duterte has as president said he would be “happy to slaughter” three million drug addicts, and described children shot dead in the drug war as “collateral damage”.

But he has also repeatedly insisted he has never instructed police to do anything illegal, and that they must only kill in self-defence.

Protests 

Meanwhile, thousands of Duterte’s critics and supporters held rival rallies today.

Police in battle gear were mustered to keep order as protesters held a series of rallies across the capital of Manila, using the 45th anniversary of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos imposing martial law to warn that Duterte was equally violent and authoritarian.

“Our country is turning into a graveyard. People are getting killed everyday and we bury the dead everyday, just like in the time of Marcos,” anti-Duterte protest leader Pedro Gonzales told AFP.

But supporters of Duterte also turned up in large numbers, reflecting his popularity with many Filipinos who see him as a charismatic, anti-establishment politician who is their best chance to quell crime and corruption.

© – AFP 2017

Read: Philippine lawmakers vote to slash annual funding for human rights commission to just €16

Read: Corpses in the slums and police corruption: A year into Duterte’s bloody drugs war

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