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Philippine President-Elect Says Citizens Can Kill Drug Dealers

  • VOA News

FILE - Philippines' president-elect Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a press conference in Davao on May 31, 2016.

FILE - Philippines' president-elect Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a press conference in Davao on May 31, 2016.

The president-elect of the Philippines says he will pay a bounty to people who kill drug dealers.

Rodrigo Duterte said during his campaign he would unleash the military and police on dealers.

Late Saturday, however, he invited the general public to go after drug traffickers.

Speaking to a large crowd of cheering supporters in a televised speech, Duterte - who will take office on June 30 - said he would pay $107,000 for dead drug dealers.

He had a warning for drug addicts, whom he says cannot be rehabilitated. "If you are involved in drugs, I will kill you."

Duterte, who ran his campaign on a tough anti-crime platform, said in a televised speech that Filipinos who help him in the war against criminality would be rewarded.

He said in the televised speech if a drug dealer resists arrest or refuses to be brought to a police station and threatens a citizen with a gun or knife, "you can kill him." He said "Shoot him and I'll give you a medal."

Rights groups are appalled by the president-elect's call to arms and what they say is the potential danger of such a policy.

It was not immediately clear how citizens would identify suspects.

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