Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte says he’ll never apologise for the deaths during his bloody war on drugs campaign where, according to government data reported by Reuters, around 6,200 drugs suspects were killed in police sting operations since Duterte took power in June 2016.
“I will never, never apologise for the deaths… Kill me. Jail me. I will never apologise for the deaths.”
During the speech, he also vowed to defend law enforcement officers who are doing their jobs, encouraging them to fight back if their lives are threatened. Human rights activists, on the other hand, say the thousands of suspects were executed.
Although he will not be able to run for re-election next year, according to the constitution, electing his ally in the upcoming election will shield Duterte from legal consequences related to his anti-narcotics campaign.
Last September, the International Criminal Court launched an investigation into alleged human rights violations during Duterte’s drug crackdown. It was temporarily suspended by the ICC in November last year when Manila requested its own investigation.