Duterte wants to target heinous crimes in 3-6 months
MANILA - A spokesman of Davao City Mayor and PDP Laban standard bearer Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said the latter's promise to eradicate crime in three to six months only refers to heinous crimes.
Duterte spokesman Peter Laviña said the mayor, if elected president, will not suspend constitutional rights or declare martial law as some have feared.
Former Philippine National Police chief Panfilo Lacson earlier said eliminating crime in six months or even one year is not doable.
Laviña said Duterte is serious about his campaign promise to solve crime based on his own experience in Davao.
"He said if the President can't do it in 2 months, he will not do it in 10 years. That's why he said he will resign if he cannot do it. He is implementing high standards on himself," he said.
"The target is really the heinous crimes because these are the ones that really affect our people. I think he will put a priority on this. Drugs, rapists," he added.
He said that if Duterte is elected president, he will first issue directives and executive orders that will be handed "to the lowest level" in a matter of weeks.
"By the first two months, if nothing happens, he will start changing people. If he thinks lower ranked officials are not implementing the directives of the Office of the President or commander-in-chief, then he will replace people," he said.
Laviña denied that Duterte will implement martial law, saying the mayor wants to be an inspirational leader.
"Very simple, if everyone follows the law, no one breaks the law, then we solve crime. [Wishful thinking?] Yes, we have to have a leader that people look up to, that is why we have to have the full cooperation of the people to implement this," he said.
"He wants to inspire the people to take the cudgels for the country. Not really being a dictator to impose."
Kill the criminals! Duterte's vote-winning vow in Philippines
Duterte is making a spectacular, obscenity-filled charge towards the presidential palace by selling himself as a ruthless leader willing to bypass the judicial system in an unprecedented war against crime.
On a previous occasion Duterte, a lawyer, pledged to kill 100,000 criminals and dump so many in Manila Bay that the "fish will grow fat" from feeding on them.
Duterte to kill 100,000 criminals if elected
The New York-based Human Rights Watch has called for an investigation into the Davao Death Squad killings and urged the Philippine government not to tolerate a public official who endorses extrajudicial killings.