MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday recognized and apologized for “unintended" killings in his intensive campaign against illegal drugs.
“I would admit there were killings that were unintended, gaya ng mga bata na tinatamaan sa crossfire. Collateral damage, and I'm sorry. There has to be a casualty and there has to be some drawbacks there,” Duterte said in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News' Lynda Jumilla in Malacañang.
Duterte has been repeatedly criticized by local and international human rights advocates for his bloody war on drugs but no proof of state-sponsored killings have surfaced yet.
The President added that the public should support his war on drugs “because it’s for their own good” and reiterated how he stays true to his promise to eradicate illegal drugs.
“Then I'll say that I'll have to fight drugs. I'm fighting it... A lot are complaining because of my fight vs. drugs,” he said.
Duterte also showed Jumilla his narco-list, a thick pile of papers supposedly containing the names of narco-politicians which have numbered to around 6,000.
Since May 10, a total of 2,755 drug-related fatalities have been recorded in the country as of December 20, data from the ABS-CBN Research and Investigative Group show.
Of this figure, 1,536 were killed in police operations while 1,030 were killed by unidentified assailants.