Perhaps the world’s most controversial President, Rodrigo Duerte, has announced he personally killed criminals when he was mayor of the Philippine city of Davao.
The Philippine President said in a speech on Monday about his plans to eradicate illegal drugs, a campaign that has seen police and unknown assailants kill around 5,000 people since he became President at the end of June.
“In Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the guys [police officers] that if I can do it, why can’t you,” said the President.
“And I’d go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around, and I would just patrol the streets, looking for trouble also. I was really looking for a confrontation so I could kill.”
Admitting this has potential to see Duterte impeached, according to Senator Leila de Lima.
“That is a betrayal of public trust and that constitutes high crimes because mass murders certainly fall into the category of high crimes. And high crimes is a ground for impeachment under the constitution,” de Lima told CNN on Thursday.
Senator Richard Gordon also said Duterte has opened himself to possible impeachment proceedings following his comment.
“When he says that, he’s opening himself up, so what’s the legal way, then go ahead and impeach him,”
Since taking his anti-drug campaign to the nation level, he has been heavily criticised by the United Nations and the United States, whose concerns have drawn only angry rebuke
Duterte has since been on better terms with Donald Trump, who he said had praised his war on drugs during a phone call this month. This has not been confirmed.
Since his election in June, police have reported killing 2,086 people in anti-drug operations. Over 3,000 others have been killed in unexplained circumstances, according to official figures.