Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he was prepared to shoot criminals himself, and warned that he may bring back the police force to fight his war against drugs, AFP reported.
Duterte had withdrawn the police force from his anti-drug campaign on October 11 after they were accused of human rights abuses, local media network GMA News reported. The president replaced them with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, which has about 2,000 officers as against the 1,65,000 police personnel.
On Friday, Duterte however raised doubts about the agency being able to contain the drugs menace. “Those who rape children, who rape women, those sons of... if you don’t want the police, I am here now,” he said. “I will shoot them. That’s true! If nobody would dare it, I will pull the trigger.”
Duterte said he would wait for six months before he takes the final call. “If things get worse again, I will say to these apes: ‘Go back to this job. You solve this problem of ours’,” he said, referring to the police.
Duterte was elected president in 2016 after vowing during the election campaign that 1,00,000 people would die in his war on drugs. According to the government figures, the police have reported killing 3,900 “drug personalities”, and nearly 2,290 have died in “drug-related killings”, AFP reported.