Philippines’ Duterte vows hangings in war on crime
DAVAO, Philippines – Agence France-Presse
REUTERS photoPhilippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte vowed on May 16 to introduce executions by hanging as part of a ruthless law-and-order crackdown that would also include ordering military snipers to kill suspected criminals.
In back-to-back press conferences since his landslide victory in May 9 elections, the tough-talking mayor of southern Davao city said security forces would be given “shoot-to-kill” orders and that citizens would learn to fear the law.
“Those who destroy the lives of our children will be destroyed,” Duterte said in wide-ranging comments to reporters in Davao on May 16 as he outlined on his war on crime once he is sworn into office on June 30.
“Those who kill my country will be killed. Simple as that. No middle ground. No apologies. No excuses."
Duterte said a central part of his war on crime would be to bring back the death penalty, which was abolished in 2006 under then-president Gloria Arroyo.
Duterte said he would ask Congress to reintroduce capital punishment for a wide range of crimes, including drug trafficking, rape, murder, robbery and kidnapping-for-ransom.
He said he preferred death by hanging to a firing squad because he did not want to waste bullets, and because he believed snapping the spine with a noose was more humane.
For people convicted of two major crimes, Duterte said he wanted them hanged twice.
“After you are hanged first, there will be another ceremony for the second time until the head is completely severed from the body. I like that because I am mad,” he said.
Duterte also vowed to roll out Davao law-and-order measures on a nationwide basis, including a 2:00 am curfew on drinking in public places and a ban on children walking on the streets alone late at night. Smoking in restaurants and hotels will also be banned.
Duterte said he would likely offer the Cabinet posts of environment and natural resources, agrarian reform, social welfare, and labor to the communist rebels.
“They are the most vigilant group in the Philippines about labor so they would get it,” Duterte said.
The move would likely be strongly opposed by big business and industry.