Says police to get 'foreigners' in loan shark abductions 'dead or alive'
MANILA (UPDATE) – Chinese businessmen interested to invest in the Philippines are expected to “behave,” President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday.
While the Philippine government is still working to eradicate corruption, there are rules that need to be followed, Duterte explained to a crowd of Chinese businessmen in Parañaque City.
“I just want everybody to behave and I also expect that behavior from you. There are rules to be followed,” he said.
“Just obey the rules and nobody's going to disturb you. Nobody is going to molest you. Nobody is going to well ask for this and ask for that," he said.
Duterte also reminded the company’s executives not to let their buildings become a haven for criminality and illegal drug activities.
“However, while I recognize the potential of these projects to help the Philippines withstand future challenges in the global [economic] setting, I nonetheless stress that your buildings should never serve as a haven for undocumented foreign workers or for the manufacture of and trafficking of illegal drugs,” he said.
Duterte, likewise, issued a warning to "foreigners" involved in loan shark abductions, saying he has ordered police to go after them "dead or alive".
Several cases of such abductions have been reported involving Chinese suspects and victims.
Loan shark gangs are known to entice their victims through offers of trips to the Philippines, offering them gambling capital. They are then abducted for ransom if unable to pay up, with some tortured or even killed.
"For those who are, those foreigners, I will not particularize, but there are foreigners who come here to play their trade, lending money, and if the debtor cannot pay, they kidnap and sometimes they ask for ransom, and even with the delivery of money for ransom, they just go ahead and kill their victim," Duterte said.
"You know, we're good friends with everybody, but I will not hesitate, even to tell your ambassador 'I killed your idiot citizen because he was f****ng...' and I told you not to, especially kidnap for ransom, and those who kidnap and kill even if the money has been delivered," he said.
He said such people were just "another carcass."
"There is no other order to police, it's to capture you dead or alive. Preferably dead so that you cannot go back to your country to do crime again and be back again in my country to do another crime," the President said.
"Let us be very clear: You can come, you can play your trade, you can commit your crimes, but if I catch up with you, it is dead or alive. Preferably dead."
"Alive, I have to feed you, there's a rice crisis in this country. One mouth less would be good for my country," he said to applause from his audience.
Duterte also assured foreign investors that he does not tolerate corruption, saying he “hates” it and asked businessmen to be “assertive” in the face of exploitation.
“Be assertive because whether you are a Filipino or alien, you must stand for your rights,” he said.
“I do not tolerate corruption. I hate corruption. And I will go out of my way to punish people who are into graft and corruption. ,” he said.
China was the Philippines biggest trading partner in 2018 with trade worth $52 billion, according to the Department of Finance.
- with a report from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News