Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has confessed that he personally killed criminal suspects during his tenure as the mayor of Davao, reported The Guardian. “In Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the guys [the police] that if I can do it why can’t you... I was really looking for a confrontation so I could kill,” he told businessmen who had assembled at the presidential palace on Monday.

This is the first time since Duterte became the president in June that he publicly made such an admission. Earlier in 2015, he had said that he had killed at least three men suspected of kidnapping and rape in Davao, reported BBC. Nearly 1,000 people were killed during Duterte’s tenure as the mayor of Davao from 1988 to 2013. His anti-drug campaign, which he started after becoming the president, has already left more than 6,000 suspected drug dealers and users dead.

In September, self-confessed former assassin Edgar Matobato had told a Senate committee, which is conducting an inquiry against the alleged extra-judicial killings ordered by Duterte, that the president once killed a justice department employee with a submachine gun. Matobato said the president had ordered a death squad, of which he was also a member, to kill drug dealers, rapists, snatchers and opponents mercilessly.

On September 30, Duterte stirred another controversy when he compared himself to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. He made the analogy when he had said, “Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there are three million drug addicts [in the Philippines] and I will be happy to slaughter them.” He added that if Germany had Hitler, Philippines will have him and added that critics have often referred to him as “a cousin of Hitler”.