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AJE: Why the Philippine 'Punisher' could be president

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Why the Philippine 'Punisher' could be president


In a parched field in northern Philippines, a helicopter hovers over a sea of people.


Defying hunger and a three-hour wait, teenagers and grown men scream to welcome the mayor of a city a thousand miles away. Out emerges the man raising the symbol of his unorthodox presidential candidacy: an iron fist.


Rodrigo Duterte, 71, became infamous as mayor of the southern city of Davao in 2002 when Time magazine branded him as "The Punisher".


The lawyer supposedly behind a death squad is now the front-runner to lead Southeast Asia's oldest democracy.


While investors fear a strongman, Filipinos mob the rare politician who gets things done.


"If I promise to kill you, I will really kill you," thunders the Donald Trump-like blunt-talking politician. "Drug dealers, give me a reason to keep you alive, you son of a ****!"

Cheers of "idol" greet Duterte's simple but chilling platform to suppress crime by killing criminals in six months.


In an April survey by pollster Pulse Asia, he edged out four other contenders to succeed President Benigno Aquino in a nation of 100 million.


The uproar over his recent joke about raping a murdered Australian missionary did not even make a dent in his popularity.

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That recent "joke" about the rape and murdered Australian missionary.

"All the women were raped so during the first assault, because they retreated, the bodies they used as a cover, one of them was the corpse of the Australian woman layminister. Tsk, this is a problem. When the bodies were brought out, they were wrapped. I looked at her face, son of a ****, she looks like a beautiful American actress. Son of a ****, what a waste. What came to mind was, they raped her, they lined up. I was angry because she was raped, that’s one thing. But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first. What a waste."

hahaha get it?! Neither do I. He made that comment publicly at a campaign rally.

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He's gonna make the Philippines average again.

And if you can't make jokes about raping an Australian, whom can you make jokes about raping?

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He's gonna make the Philippines average again.

And if you can't make jokes about gang raping an Australian, whom can you make jokes about gang raping?


Edited for accuracy's sake...

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Philippines: Duterte vows to bring back death penalty


He added that he would also seek to give security forces shoot-to-kill powers for suspects who evade arrest and those involved in organised crime.


It is unclear how easily he could enact such proposals, but analysts credit his success to his tough stance on crime.


He is set to be sworn into office on 30 June for a term of six years.


While official election results have not yet been announced, Mr Duterte has an unassailable lead. He will need the backing of Congress to see through his plans.


Speaking at a press conference on Sunday in the southern city of Davao, Mr Duterte is also quoted as saying that he wanted to forge closer relations with China, and that he was open to direct talks over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.


The Philippines has taken one of its claims to a court of arbitration at the Hague.

Mr Duterte's record as the crime-crushing mayor of the southern city of Davao, once notorious for its lawlessness, has earned him the moniker The Punisher.


"What I will do is urge Congress to restore death penalty by hanging," Mr Duterte told reporters. The Philippines abolished capital punishment in 2006.

Rodrigo Duterte’s Talk of Killing Criminals Raises Fears in Philippines


The police warned 14-year-old Bobby Alia that there would be consequences after he was accused of stealing a cellphone in November 2003, the boy’s mother said. A few days later he was dead, stabbed in the back with a butcher knife.


He was the third of Clarita Alia’s sons to die in Davao, the southern Philippines’ largest city, in killings that remain unsolved. A fourth was killed in 2007. All had been accused of crimes, all were stabbed and all, Ms. Alia said, had received similar warnings from the police.


For years, rights groups have called for an investigation into whether Davao’s mayor, Rodrigo Duterte — the tough-talking politician who next month will become president of the Philippines — was complicit in the killings of hundreds of people in Davao since the 1980s by what they describe as government-sanctioned death squads.


The Davao police say they have not found evidence that such organizations exist. Investigations by Human Rights Watch, the United Nations and the Philippines’ own Commission on Human Rights, however, have found evidence that they do exist and that police officers and other government officials had been involved in the killings.


The victims, the investigations found, included people suspected of committing crimes or using drugs, street children and, in some cases, people who had been mistaken for someone else.

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He also said that he will authorize the police and military to "shoot to kill" criminal suspects who resist arrest. 

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I get that Trump is a absolute jerk that says horribly insulting things... but comparing him to an admitted killer that has happily supported extrajudicial death squads is absurd.  This is like comparing Glenn Beck to Pinochet. 

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What does Melania Trump think of him? I don't think this guy is Hitler either, but he sneaks closer than Trump does.

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After 'sons of whores' comment, Philippines' Duterte says he will defy Church with three-child policy


Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said he will defy the Roman Catholic Church and seek to impose a three-child policy, putting him on a new collision course with the bishops a day after he called them "sons of whores".


The southern mayor has yet to be declared the May 9 poll winner, but an unofficial vote count by an election commission-accredited watchdog showed him ahead over his four rivals, three of whom conceded defeat. Duterte assumes office on June 30.


Duterte's often outrageous comments have won him huge support and his tirades about killing criminals and a joke about a murdered rape victim do not appear to have dented his popularity in the largely Catholic country.


"I only want three children for every family," Duterte said on Sunday in Davao City. "I'm a Christian, but I'm a realist so we have to do something with our overpopulation. I will defy the opinion or the belief of the Church."


About 80 percent of the Philippines' 100 million population are Catholics, the largest concentration of any Asian country, who oppose abortion and contraception.

On Saturday, he criticized the Church as the "most hypocritical institution", meddling in government policies and said some bishops were enriching themselves at the expense of the poor.


"You sons of whores, aren't you ashamed? You ask so many favors, even from me," Duterte said in an interview broadcast by TV station GMA.

"Like most liberal, secular politicians, Duterte is a deist," said Joselito Zulueta of the University of Santo Tomas. "This in itself is a self-serving position conceived out of human conceit. He will do as he pleases except when he's stopped by public criticism."


He said Duterte's government was expected to clash more with the Catholic Church not only on population issues, but on the restoration of death penalty, legalization of divorce and planned distribution of contraceptives.

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Philippines' Duterte endorses killing corrupt journalists


Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday that corrupt journalists were legitimate targets of assassination, as he amped up his controversial anti-crime crusade with offers of rewards for killing drug traffickers.


Duterte won this month's elections by a landslide largely due to an explosive law-and-order platform in which he pledged to end crime within six months by killing tens of thousands of suspected criminals.


The foul-mouthed politician has launched a series of post-election tirades against criminals and repeated his vows to kill them -- particularly drug traffickers, rapists and murderers.


In a press conference called on Tuesday to announce his cabinet in his southern hometown of Davao, Duterte said journalists who took bribes or engaged in other corrupt activities also deserved to die.


"Just because you're a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you're a son of a ****," Duterte said when asked how he would address the problem of media killings in the Philippines after a reporter was shot dead in Manila last week.


The Philippines is one of the most dangerous nations in the world for journalists, with 174 murdered since a chaotic and corruption-plagued democracy replaced the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos three decades ago.


"Most of those killed, to be frank, have done something. You won't be killed if you don't do anything wrong," Duterte said, adding that many journalists in the Philippines were corrupt.


Duterte also said freedom of expression provisions in the constitution did not necessarily protect a person from violent repercussions for defamation.

"That can't be just freedom of speech. The constitution can no longer help you if you disrespect a person," he said.


Duterte raised the case of Jun Pala, a journalist and politician who was murdered in Davao in 2003. Gunmen on a motorcycle shot dead Pala, who was a vocal critic of Duterte. His murder has never been solved.


"If you are an upright journalist, nothing will happen to you," said Duterte, who has ruled Davao as mayor for most of the past two decades and is accused of links to vigilante death squads.


"The example here is Pala. I do not want to diminish his memory but he was a rotten son of a ****. He deserved it."

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Not just drug lords. 

The incoming Philippine president urged citizens to fight crime by turning in and even killing suspected drug dealers.
"If they are there in your neighborhood, feel free to call us, the police or do it yourself if you have the gun," President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said late Saturday night in a nationally televised speech in Davao City, Agence France-Presse reported. "You have my support."

and whoever it is he's talking about here. 

"[To] all police who have cases and are wanted now, if you are still involved in drugs, I will kill you," he said, according to a CNN Philippines translation. "Don't take this as a joke. I'm not making you laugh."

I'm tempted to say it will be interesting to see how this plays out, but that doesn't really capture the emotion correctly.  How does one describe watching an impending train wreck that you know is going to happen but you can't do anything about?  Transfixed?  I don't know. 

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Duterte sworn in as the Philippines' 16th president


Authoritarian firebrand Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as the Philippines' president on Thursday, after promising a ruthless and deeply controversial war on crime would be the main focus of his six-year term.


Defying convention, Duterte took his oath before a small audience inside the Malacanang presidential palace, instead of at a big public rally like previous Filipino leaders.


"No leader however strong can succeed at anything of national importance and significance unless he has the support and cooperation of the people he is tasked to lead," Duterte said after being sworn in.


His anti-crime programme includes plans to reintroduce the death penalty, issuing shoot-to-kill orders to the security services and offering them bounties for the bodies of drug dealers. He has also told ordinary Filipinos to kill suspected criminals.

With Duterte's encouragement, police have already killed dozens of suspected criminals since the May 9 election. The incoming mayor of Cebu, the Philippines' second-biggest city, has also paid out Duterte-style bounties to police for killing drug suspects.


Behind the fireworks of his rhetoric and the war on crime, Duterte has promised a raft of other far-reaching reforms.


Chief among those is to change the centralised government to a federal system in which newly created states would have a large degree of autonomy. Those states would also be able to keep most of their revenues.


But doing so will require rewriting the constitution.

In Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippines, Suspects Have the ‘Right to Remain Silent—Forever’


Jimmy Vosotros was found dead along a highway on the Philippine island of Cebu in late May, his hogtied body wrapped like a mummy in garbage bags and packing tape, with a rope around his neck.


A message left at the scene invoked this country’s man of the moment: President-elect Rodrigo Duterte. “I’m a bandit, Du30,” it said, using common shorthand for the man driving a law-and-order push.


The killing, and others recently, have offered a glimpse of what may be to come in this fast-growing country, a crucial U.S. ally in Asia.


Mr. Duterte, the long-serving mayor of Davao City in the southern Philippines, becomes president on Thursday, having comfortably won elections in early May after pledging to wipe out criminals. He advocates the killing of suspected lawbreakers and has publicly backed vigilante death squads estimated to have killed over 1,000 people in Davao.


“Kill them all,” Mr. Duterte told a rally in March, referring to criminals and suspects. “When I become president I’ll order the police and the military to find these people and kill them.” During the campaign, Mr. Duterte said 100,000 Filipinos would die during the coming purge.


Mr. Duterte has tapped a loyal lieutenant from Davao, a former city police chief, Ronald Dela Rosa, to head the national force starting Thursday. Mr. Dela Rosa recently told reporters the president-elect’s target of stamping out crime in six months is achievable, as long as drug suspects are relentlessly pursued.

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Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte urges people to kill drug addicts

Authoritarian firebrand Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as the Philippines’ president on Thursday, extending an olive branch to the country’s elites in his official speech, only to later vow to wipe out drug traffickers and urge the population to kill addicts.

Duterte, 71, won last month’s election in a landslide after a campaign dominated by threats to kill tens of thousands of criminals in a relentless war on crime, and tirades against the nation’s elite that cast him as an incendiary, anti-establishment hero.

Following a measured speech after taking his oath before a small audience inside the presidential palace, the outspoken leader paid an evening visit to a Manila slum and unleashed profanity-laden threats against drug traffickers in front of a crowd of about 500 people

“These sons of whores are destroying our children. I warn you, don’t go into that, even if you’re a policeman, because I will really kill you,” the head of state told the audience.

“If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”

Continued at link...

I'm not even gonna comment.

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Duterte warns Chinese drug suspect he will die if he returns to Philippines


PHILIPPINES President Rodrigo Duterte has warned a Chinese drug suspect that he will die at Manila Airport if he returns to the Southeast Asian nation.


“Do not come back to the Philippines anymore. The moment he steps out of the plane, he will die,” Duterte said in spontaneous remarks broadcast by a state-run TV network.


When asked how the suspect, identified as Peter Lim, would die, Duterte responded “never mind”.


“We’re really being insulted by the drug people,” he said. “Since they are beyond redemption, they can stop and commit suicide because I will not allow these idiots to run their show, not during my watch.”


Duterte also said two detained drug trafficking suspects would be killed if they attempted to escape.


The controversial president won the May 9 elections overwhelmingly on a bold promise to end crime and corruption in the first three to six months of his presidency.


He has backed up that promise with action, with the number of drug suspects shot dead by police increasing four-fold in recent weeks.

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Philippine President Blames US for Middle East Violence


The new Philippine president blamed U.S. intervention for the bloody conflicts in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries in his latest criticism of Manila's closest security ally.


President Rodrigo Duterte suggested in a speech Friday that intrusive policy was to blame for attacks on U.S. soil, saying, "It is not that the Middle East is exporting terrorism to America, America imported terrorism."


"They forced their way to Iraq ... look at Iraq now, look what happened to Libya, look what happened to Syria," he told the Muslim community in southern Davao city in a ceremony marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. "People are being annihilated there including children."


The former Davao mayor has said he would be a leftist president who would chart a foreign policy not dependent on the United States.


He has pointed out the benefits of nurturing friendly relations with Beijing, including a Chinese offer of financing railway projects in the Philippines. The country has had frosty ties with China under Duterte's predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, who bolstered security ties with the U.S. to deter China's assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea.


Despite his remarks, there has been no indication that he would move to change the country's robust defense ties with the United States.


The treaty allies hold largescale combat exercises each year and signed a 2014 defense pact that allows the U.S. military to temporarily base troops and build and operate facilities in Philippine military camps. China has criticized the pact.


In the Philippines, Duterte has given allies of communist rebels at least two key posts in his Cabinet as part of an effort to forge a peace deal with the insurgents, who are labeled terrorists by Washington.

In the case of Abu Sayyaf militants, Duterte said he would not lump them with criminals, saying "these were the guys who were driven to desperation." He did not say how he would try to deal with the extremists although he has warned them in recent weeks to stop a wave of ransom kidnappings or face "a reckoning one of these days."


Washington and Manila list the Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist organization that has carried out for bombings, kidnappings and beheadings over the last three decades.

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