Duterte threatens drug suspects with death

Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 04 2016 10:10 PM | Updated as of Jun 05 2016 02:36 AM

DAVAO CITY -- President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said he would have police officers involved in the drug trade killed and authorized the public to do the same if a suspect resists arrest and fights back.

Speaking to loud cheers from tens of thousands at his victory party in Davao City, Duterte reiterated his vow to wage a "bloody war" against crime.

"Either nandyan ka pa sa droga, ipapatay kita. Don't take this as a joke, ipapatay kita, " he said, referring to police officers involved in the drug trade.

"If you destroy the youth of this country, I will kill you," he said.

"Madugong labanan ito," he added.

20160604-duterte-party-JC President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, surrounded by close aides, talks to the crowd during the Du31 victory party in Davao City on Saturday. Jonathan Cellona-ABS-CBN News

Duterte said the public have the authority to arrest drug suspects under the law.

"If he fights and he fights to death you can kill him," he said.

If the suspect is armed and resists arrest, Duterte said: "Barilin mo. I will give you a medal."

GRAND VICTORY PARTY

Tens of thousands of his supporters celebrated Duterte's victory on Saturday, filled with hope that the tough-talking outsider who shook national politics will deliver on his promise to defeat crime and corruption.

At least 180,000 people wearing shirts printed with the 71-year-old firebrand's image converged at a sprawling park that is right next to a crocodile farm.

It is the single largest public gathering in the city in recent memory, Chief Inspector Milgrace Driz, the city police spokeswoman, told ABS-CBN News.

Many endured hours on the road from surrounding provinces, some with sleeping blankets, to celebrate the victory of the first President-elect from Mindanao.

Duterte, an outsider in national politics, swept to power in the May 9 elections promising to uplift the lives of the poor by waging a relentless fight against crime and corruption.