Duterte says he won't go after critics

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 18 2016 02:11 AM

Duterte says he won't go after critics 1
Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte speaks at a press conference in Davao City on Monday. Ted Aljibe, AFP

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said that he will not go after his critics when he assumes the presidency on June 30.

"Maybe, when I sit as president, I will be asking, but I am not going to prosecute," Duterte revealed.

"I am not up to it, actually, going after political enemies," Duterte said in an interview with GMA News Tuesday night.

The incoming president also vowed to welcome criticism and even promised to defend people's right to air their dissent.

Paraphrasing a popular saying, Duterte said, "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it. We are in a democracy."

Duterte also said he will not prevent the media from reporting criticisms about him and his administration, saying journalists will be free to report on anomalies in government, if there are any.

"Criticism, good or bad, true or not, is part of the territory of good governance and public office," he said.

"If they want to look into the papers of any transaction in government, I always say, open up! Don’t hide anything," he added.

Duterte also expressed concerns about the status of the Scarborough Shoal amid reports of tensions in the area.

"I would just be interested to know why we lost the Scarborough Shoal," Duterte explained. "It is not a matter of territorial issues, but it is an issue of an exclusive economic zone threatened."