Duterte threatens to kill cops accused of graft
Manila, Aug. 8 (IANS): Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to kill around 100 police officers accused of corruption and abuse of power, the media reported on Wednesday.
The footage of Duterte’s speech, which was delivered at the Malacanang palace on Tuesday night, was aired repeatedly on Philippines television channels on Wednesday.
“You are useless to me. You are a menace to society,” Duterte said.
The officers who were called to the presidential palace included three policemen who were already serving a prison sentence and were released temporarily in order to listen to Duterte, Efe news reported.
The allegations against the officers included robbery, extortion, serious unlawful detention, kidnapping, rape, abuse of power and abandoning duty without permission.
“If you stay like this, I will really kill you,” Duterte said in the speech laden with expletives.
The President said that agents involved in drug-trafficking and organized crime would be monitored by a special unit “for life”.
“It’s a good thing there are a lot of people here, there are officials present or else, I would be hitting you,” he said.
This is the second time that Duterte publicly admonished police personnel accused of corruption and malpractice.
In February 2017, he called around 200 policemen accused of misconduct to the Malacanang presidential palace to scold them, at a time when his war on drugs was at its peak and had led to a spotlight on police abuses of power.
The President has launched a clean-up drive of the national police and even temporarily withdrew the force from participating in his campaign against drugs due to alleged abuses by officers.
According to official figures, more than 4,500 people were killed by the police in anti-drug campaigns, although human rights groups claimed that 12,000-15,000 people were killed during the crackdown.