MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday that because of his advanced age, he is not afraid to go to jail for ordering security forces to kill armed communist rebels during encounters.
Duterte earlier this month told troops to ignore human rights when they carry out his directive to shoot communist rebels dead during armed clashes.
The President said the government was not liable for a previous spate of killings in Negros Oriental, but he would claim responsibility for deaths from his order.
"Kung ako ang nagpapatay, sabihin ko sa inyo, 'Pinapatay ko ‘yang p***** i**** ‘yan kasi gago ‘yan. Hindi ako magdadalawang-isip," Duterte said in anti-communism event in Tacloban, Leyte.
(I am the who ordered that, I'll tell you, I had that s** ** * ***** killed because he's stupid. I will not think twice.)
"Patay? Human rights? Okay. Pasok ako sa kulungan? Oo. Good. I’d be happy. Tutal matanda na rin ako, hindi naman ako magtagal diyan sa preso na ‘yan," added Duterte, who is turning 76 later this month.
(Jail me? Yes, good. I'd be happy. I'm old anyway, I won't last long in that jail.)
Duterte said the government would distribute 2,334 hectares of land under agrarian reform.
"Kami ang makabigay ng lupa sa inyo, legal. Maipasa na ninyo sa inyong mga anak. May lupa sila. Maliit ang mundo ngayon," Duterte said, apparently addressing rebels.
(We will give you land legally. You can pass it on to your children. They will have land. The world is small.)
"Maski na lang may dalawa, tatlong ektarya ka, you should thank God that you have a piece --- a piece of land under the sun. Ang iba nga, wala. Ito, bigay na sa inyo. Well, ‘wag ninyong ipagbili, masuntok ko --- suntukin ko talaga kayo."
(Even if you have two, three hectares, you should thank God that you have a piece --- a piece of land under the sun. Others have none. This will be given to you. Don't sell it, I will really punch you.)
Since coming to power in 2016, Duterte has seen his efforts to forge peace with communist rebels derailed repeatedly, prompting frequent outbursts and threats to wipe them out.
Days after Duterte's shoot-to-kill order against rebels this month, police raids left 9 activists dead, prompting concern from the United Nations rights council and the European Union.
The justice department is investigating these killings.
— With a report from Reuters
Video courtesy of PTV