MANILA — Senator Richard Gordon said on Wednesday said President Rodrigo Duterte’s admission that he personally killed drug suspects when he was still mayor of Davao City might be part of his strategy to fight drug menace in the country.
“The President is prone to making exaggerated statements. I think that is part of his strategy, I don’t know,” Gordon, chairman of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, said in a media interview.
Gordon said President Duterte, a former fiscal, knew what he is talking about when he made his admission before a group of businessmen in Malacanang late Monday night.
The President even said he used to go around in Davao City on a big bike, patrolling the streets and was looking for encounter to kill criminals and drug pushers.
“I’m not surprised anymore with the President. The President is very, as I said ‘loose lips sink ship’. That is his own look out. He is a lawyer. He knows that. He served as fiscal for many years. He knew what he is doing,” Gordon said.
When asked if the admission could lead to impeachment of the President, Gordon explained that circumstances on why the former mayor killed the drug suspects should be established first.
“If self-defense, he is not liable. If he really said that (killing drug suspects), perhaps he has reason. If somebody wants to file impeachment case, then file it because I know he knows how to defend that. He will not say if he has no defense (strategy),” Gordon said.
“When you said you killed people, you have to know the circumstances. You have to investigate. He (the President) should be the one who should clarify,” he added.
Gordon explained that encounter with drug suspects and criminals is common to the local leaders, particularly mayor.
“When you are a mayor, there are lot of instances that you will encounter that kind situation,” Gordon, a former Olongapo City mayor, said.
Gordon believed that President Duterte was just trying to defend and save his constituency of law enforcement when he admitted killing drug suspects and criminals when he was mayor.
“That is mayor talking about policemen that he promised that he will defend police. I know what he is playing,” Gordon said.
He also believed that President Duterte is not involved in extra-judicial killings amid the government’s strong campaign against illegal drugs. PNA-northboundasia.com