International News

Philippines president says he stabbed a person when he was only 16

Rodrigo Duterte also threatened to slap a United Nations human rights expert for criticising his crackdown on drugs in the country.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said that he stabbed a person to death when he was 16, and indicated that he could do much more as part of his drug war now that he is the country’s leader, AFP reported.

“At the age of 16, I already killed someone,” said Duterte. “A real person, a rumble, a stabbing. I was just 16 years old,” Duterte said. “It was just over a look. How much more now that I am president?”

Duterte was speaking to a local Filipino community in Vietnam’s Danang city. He is in Danang for the ongoing Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. He also threatened to slap United Nations human rights expert, Agnes Callamard, for her criticism of his crackdown on drugs in the Philippines.

Duterte was elected the president in 2016 after vowing 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”.

This is, however, not the first time the president has made such claims.

In October, he had said that he would shoot criminals himself. “Those who rape children, who rape women, those sons of...if you don’t want the police, I am here now,” he had said. “I will shoot them. That’s true! If nobody would dare it, I will pull the trigger.”

In December 2016, the president is believed to have told businessmen that he murdered suspects to “show the guys [the police] that if I can do it, why can’t you?”. He had also threatened to throw corrupt officials from helicopters and claimed to have done it before. Earlier in 2015, he had said that he had killed at least three men suspected of kidnapping and rape in Davao.

After Duterte’s claims, the Philippines Commission on Human Rights said it would investigate if the president had killed criminals while serving as the mayor of Davao city. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein had also said that Duterte should be investigated into these alleged murders and those during his drug war.

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