DAVAO CITY, March 19, 2017 — President Rodrigo Duterte said he was not discounting the involvement of rogue cops in the alleged extrajudicial killings he was being tagged under reportedly legitimate police operations.
Duterte spoke minutes before his scheduled flight to Myanmar on the final leg of his tour of ASEAN member-nations since last year.
“Maybe the scalawags,” Duterte said. “We do not discount the possibility that they are killing each other.”
Duterte said that the government was pushing through with its planned reforms in government, as well as the promised changes against corruption, crime, and the proliferation of illegal drugs.
“The law is the law. kung mahirap ka runner ka madidisgradya ka talaga,” Duterte said.
“But there will never be a time when I will condone killing when a person arrested is begging for his life,” he said.
Duterte reiterated he was not likely behind the alleged slays.
“The police are not allowed to follow illegal orders,” he said. “Papatayin ako ng mga yan.”
In earlier statements, the Duterte administration has been adamant in denying its involvement in the alleged slays of around 8,000 drug personalities since Duterte’s election last year.
The Philippine National Police, for its part, said it was unfair for all the killings, including legitimate police operations, to be tagged under EJKs.