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President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duteret for the first time confessed to extrajudicial killings as part of the fight against drug traffickers

This recognition can be used against him by the international criminal court.

Protesters and residents hold candles and posters after the murder of 17-year-old student Kian Loyd Delos Santos, who was victim to the war of Rodrigo Duteret with drugs in the Philippines. Photo: Reuters

President Rodrigo Duteret admitted admitting extrajudicial executions as part of his war on drugs in the Philippines. Dutherte did this during a speech at the presidential palace on Thursday, where he directly challenged everyone who criticized how he runs the country.

I told the military what my fault is. Have I stolen at least one peso? My only sin is extrajudicial killings. It will not end. As I said, I will put my life on the table, my presidency. I can lose it at any time. But I will not stop.

Rodrigo Duterte
President of the Philippines

Duterte previously spoke about the existence of extrajudicial killings, but he always denied that they were sponsored by the state. This direct recognition of his role in the killings could add additional weight to the ongoing international criminal court for the preliminary investigation of the thousands of extrajudicial executions committed as part of the war on drugs Rodrigo Duteret.

In March, the ICC confirmed that it was investigating allegations against the government that committed crimes against humanity in their brutal struggle against drugs. In response, the president announced that he was withdrawing the Philippines from the Rome Statute, which gives the international criminal court jurisdiction over the investigation in the country.

According to official statistics, 4,500 people, mostly small drug traffickers and drug addicts, were killed by the police in the framework of “legal” drug operations. However, the 77-page report submitted to the ICC affirms that the death toll has exceeded 8,000, and some rights groups estimate the death toll of 12,000 people.

Brad Adams, director of the Asian representation of Human Rights Watch, said that this recognition should erase any doubts about the president’s guilt.

The presidential press secretary, Harry Roque, said that Dutherte’s comments were playful and should not be taken literally.

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