MANILA - A town mayor who is a self-confessed fan of presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte ordered seven suspected drug pushers to take "a walk of shame" in Tanauan, Batangas Wednesday.
Tanauan Mayor Antonio Halili made the suspects walk around the town market while bearing a sign saying, "Ako'y drug pusher, 'wag tularan."
Some residents agreed with the way the alleged suspects were treated.
But the suspects lamented that their punishment was unfair because the charges against them were not even proven yet.
This is not the first time Halili ordered a suspected criminal to do a walk of shame.
The mayor came under fire in 2012 when he ordered a suspected thief of dried fish to do the walk.
The man was made to walk around the public market with his hands bound behind him and a plastic bag of "tuyo" tied to his wrists. He was also ordered to apologize to the dried fish vendor that he allegedly victimized.
Speaking to radio dzMM, Halili defended his tactic, saying this has deterred crime in his city.
''Natigil ang mga nakawan… nasabi nila mukhang effective ang walk of shame,'' he said.
Halili said his strategy of shaming criminals is in line with the people's call for a radical change in the government's approach to criminality.
''Rampant ang criminality at parang walang magawa ang ating batas at mga kapulisan kaya naghintay sila ng ganitong pagbabago at approach on how to treat criminals,'' he said.
''Iyung conventional na method ay hindi effective, kaya radical ang change, at yun ay tumatama sa mga gusto ng tao na advocacy ni Mayor Duterte."
Last April, Halili also forced an alleged rapist to do a "walk of shame."
The Commission of Human Rights (CHR) said the punishment may have violated the rights of the suspects.
''Nagpadala ang CHR ng letter, sinagot ng city legal, pero up to that point lang, kasi baka nakita nila di naman ganoong kalupit,'' he said.
READ: Suspected thief's 'walk of shame' draws outrage