President Duterte Tells Citizens to Shoot Corrupt Officials, Vows 'No Prison Time'
Filipino leader says if people shoot or beat up corrupt officials, he will pardon them
Filipino leader President Duterte has vowed to stamp out corruption in the Philippines, telling citizens that if they shoot or beat up corrupt public officials, he will pardon them.
Duterte is urging Philippines citizens to shoot, but not kill, any public officials they witness taking bribes, provided the corrupt bureaucrat survives.
Should any of his people take up the offer, President Dutert promises them full immunity from prosecution.
According to the Manilla Bulletin, the unprecedented presidential order also called on Filipino citizens to “beat up” any corrupt officials they encounter.
“If you pay a tax, a fee or get a certificate, and the officials ask for a bribe, hit them,” the outspoken leader said.
"If you have weapons, you can shoot them, but don’t kill, because during the proceedings you may not receive a pardon."
Duterte declared that those who take him up on the offer “will not be sent to prison, but will only be seriously punished physically.”
According to RT, the president is known for his off-the-cuff remarks and dark-humored jokes as much as he is for actually seeing plans through.
Since taking office, he has been fighting a violent drug war that has been repeatedly criticized by rights groups, the UN and the wider international community.
As of January 2019, some 5,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the drug war.
Rights groups claim, however, that the number could be more than double that.
Earlier, the president also stated that he saw nothing wrong with police officers accept gifts from people grateful for their service, especially after solving a crime.
Though Duterte, a former mayor and prosecutor, was careful to distinguish tokens of gratitude from bribes, Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Panfilo Lacson warned that such “gift-giving practice might breed corruption in the police.”
In response, Duterte advised his critics to brush up on the law.
“You can accept gifts, token, nominal, I was using the words of the law,” Duterte said.
"It is found in the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices."