Filipinos in Singapore appeared to side with President Rodrigo Duterte amid criticism over the latter’s admission that he personally killed people.
During a meeting with the Filipino community in Singapore, Duterte took note of the news from major international news channels CNN and BBC about his recent admission. The crowd is then seen booing.
“In the crawler, yung sa TV, yung tumatakbo, sa CNN at BBC since yesterday, it said Duterte admits killing or shooting the criminals. Hindi sila nagkamali, p****g i*a, papatayin ko talaga ang mga gagong,” Duterte said, eliciting laughter from the crowd.
Duterte made the admission before businessmen, during a speech late Monday, 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 two decades.
"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."
Duterte, 71, also responded to criticism from human rights groups and US President Barack Obama about his anti-crime tactics, vowing he would not be intimidated by their criticism into stopping.
"Sorry, I am not about to do that," he said.
In a speech to expatriate Filipinos during a state visit to Cambodia on Tuesday, Duterte joked that as mayor of Davao he would go on missions with police and shoot blindly at criminal suspects.
"I (would) sometimes go along with them. If you say I shot someone, maybe I did. I was closing my eyes because I am scared of firing a gun," said Duterte, a lawyer and former state prosecutor.