Did Duterte conduct Davao slays? Hyperbole, says Aguirre

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 14 2016 01:23 PM | Updated as of Dec 14 2016 01:26 PM

Did President Rodrigo Duterte really go on his motorbike and kill criminals during his time as Davao City mayor? For Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, the public should be reminded that the President is prone to hyperbole and exaggeration. 

"Palaging hyperbole si Presidente, palaging exaggerated," Aguirre said when asked about Duterte's statement. 

Duterte, the tough-talking mayor of Davao City, earlier told the Wallace Business Forum that he used to patrol his city on his motorcycle and "look for trouble." He said he conducted the patrols to set an example for the police. 

"I must admit that a third of the killings really happened during police encounters. And I know it because – I am not trying to, I said, pull my own chair. But in Davao, I used to do it personally, just to show to the guys that if I can do it, why can’t you. And I go around Davao with a motorcycle - with the big bike - and I would just patrol the streets and looking for trouble also. Talagang naghanap ako ng enkuwentro para makapatay," he said in a speech at the Wallace Business Forum.

"Iyon—what happened now is not—but if they are, if they say that they are—if I am afraid to stop because of the human rights and guys from…including (US President Barack) Obama. Sorry. I am not about to do that. You arrest me and oust me? Go ahead. So God said that you are Mayor, but you have been given a mission to do something… but it’s only up to there. So, fine. Oust me? Good. Assassinate me? Better."

The 71-year-old President earlier said he used to ride every week on a motorcycle but that he was forced to give it up a day after winning the presidential election in May. [RIDE EVERY WEEK: https://news.abs-cbn.com/life/12/02/16/duterte-pines-for-motorcycle-doubts-will-ride-again]

"I really do not know if I will be able to ride again with the constricted environment I have now ... That is the drawback of being the president," Duterte told graduates of a police highway patrol training course.

"I lost the desire because when I go out, my security follow me. Just forget it."

During the campaign, he also confirmed that he actively participated in the killing of three suspects who raped a Chinese girl in 1988. 

He told radio DZMM he did not think twice about shooting the kidnappers, who, he said, were holding carbines.

"Hinintay ko na lang. Nung bumaba sila, wala na ako, basta pinagbabaril ko na lang. May hawak na carbine e," he said. 

"I was part of it," he admitted. "Actually, I was the most active kasi nakaubos ako ng dalawang magazine ng .45."

He said they were then able to retrieve the ransom money, which, he said, was smeared with blood.

In the interview, Duterte said he does not believe his act of killing the three rapist-kidnappers can be considered a crime. 

"Hindi crime yun because they were committing a crime in my presence and I was the person in authority under the law...Pagsabi ko 'Taas ang kamay', walang tumaas ng kamay. Binira ko na," he said. 

He also recalled how he shot "at a distance" suspects in the kidnapping of the wife of a landed gentry in Davao. 

He said the suspects were stopped at a police checkpoint after the kidnap victim's spouse spotted them. 

"Ako, I took a shot. Maybe pam-practice rin, kung makatama," he said. 

Duterte was also asked if reports that he killed a drug dealer by dropping him from a helicopter are true.

Duterte was initially silent for a few seconds before saying: "Wala naman nakatingin noon." With Adrian Ayalin and Kathlyn dela Cruz, ABS-CBN News