Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Thursday urged the public not to take literally President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement wherein he claimed he killed people.
In an ambush interview outside the Istana Main Building in Singapore, Andanar told reporters, “You know very well that the President pag nagsalita ay matapang. Since he was the mayor he speaks like that but hindi naman lahat you should take it literally because it has always been the style of the president to instill fear in the minds of the criminals so that they won't do any harm. Alam niyo naman that is really the style of the president .”
Andanar denied that the president really said he killed people personally in the past.
“I reviewed the tape and he didn't say that he personally killed he said that he goes around Davao and looking for an encounter, a chance encounter with these criminals at kung meron mang encounter na nangyari, if you are the mayor, the person of authority based on our laws, your life is in danger, you can very well defend yourself.“
Duterte on Monday said he personally killed suspected criminals when he was mayor of Davao City to set an example for police.
Duterte made the comments in a speech to businessmen as he discussed his campaign to eradicate illegal drugs, which has seen police and unknown assailants kill thousands of people since he became president on June 30.
After speaking about police killing suspects during the current crime war, Duterte said he led similar efforts when he was mayor of Davao, the major southern city that he ruled for most of the previous 20 years.
"In Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the guys (police) that if I can do it why can't you," Duterte said in his speech at the presidential palace.
"And I'd go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around, and I would just patrol the streets, looking for trouble also. I was really looking for a confrontation so I could kill."