Philippines’ Duterte vows to bring back death penalty

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Manila, May 16 (IANS) The Philippines’ President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, nicknamed ‘the Punisher’ for his tough stance on crime, has said he will seek to bring back capital punishment, in his first press conference since winning the Philippines’ May 9 general election.

In addition to the re-introduction of the death penalty, which was abolished in 2006, the tough-talking Davao City mayor told reporters on Sunday night that he will seek to give security forces a ‘shoot-to-kill’ order against members of organised crime syndicates, EFE news cited an epa journalist report on Monday.

The remarks fall in line with Duterte’s campaign pledges, which were based largely on fighting crime and corruption, with promises made to kill up to 100,000 criminals if he won.

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Duterte, who is credited with having cleaned up crime in Davao City during his 22 years as mayor, has also defended summary executions of criminals as the most effective way to combat drug trafficking.

He has been accused of running vigilante death squads in Davao City which, according to rights groups, was made up of police, hired assassins and ex-communist rebels.

Following the press conference on Sunday, scores of police and military personnel stood guard in Davao City, southern Philippines on Monday morning ahead of a meet-and-greet between Duterte and selected well-wishers.

Duterte is set to be sworn into office on June 30 for a six-year term.



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