Rodrigo Duterte
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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte warned mayors in his country that remain on his suspected drug dealing list that they leave the trade or be killed.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte warned mayors in his country that remain on his suspected drug dealing list that they leave the trade or be killed.
During an oath-taking ceremony of over 200 appointees on Monday, the 71-year-old leader said that the mayors should resign and 'make a clean break of everything' or he would 'really kill you'.
 
'I will call the mayors, I will lock them in so it's just us,' he said in his speech. 'I will really tell them, 'The list I gave you is this thick. Look for your name there, mayor'.
 
'If your name is there, son of a b****, you have a problem, I will really kill you.'
 
'Either you resign or make a clean break of everything, come up with clean nose and we'll talk,' he added.
 
Duterte said that mayors who have ties to the drug dealing industry should be prepared to have their security and power taken away, Rappler.com reported.
'The first thing that I would do is to deprive you of the supervisory powers over the police, second is I will remove all of your security detail,' he said.
 
'I might go down [in] history as the butcher. It's up to you,' he added.
 
Duterte has previously voiced suspicion that mayors are using their power to ensure police leaders don't get in the way of drug trade in their cities and towns.
 
The president has made several threats to kill people connected to drug trade in the country, but insists the recent wave of drug trade deaths are not the work of the government.
 
Duterte was elected earlier this year partly because he promised to get tough on criminals in the Philippines, an overwhelmingly Catholic country.
 
He has made reviving the death penalty one of his priorities as part of a brutal war on crime that has already seen 5,300 people killed.
 
Eighty percent of Filipinos are Catholics and the Philippines abolished the death penalty in 2006 following a campaign by the Catholic Church.
 
But during his election campaign Duterte had vowed to introduce executions by hanging, saying he did not want to waste bullets and believed snapping the spinal cord was more humane than a firing squad.
 
Duterte, who was known for his crime-busting antics during his time as Mayor of the southern city of Davao, said he thought the point of the death penalty was retribution, not deterrence.
 
Duterte's war on crime has drawn international criticism from the United States and United Nations over concerns about extrajudicial killings and a breakdown in the rule of law.
 
A survey by Social Weather Stations released today showed a majority backed Duterte's war on drugs but 78 per cent were worried they or someone in their family would become a victim of extrajudicial killings.
 
The survey also showed 71 per cent said it was 'very important' police keep suspects alive.
 
Police have repeatedly said they only killed criminals who fought back but the nation's rights agency has begun investigating several armed encounters.
 
 
 
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