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‘Shoot-to-kill’ order backed

House leaders yesterday defended President Duterte’s “shoot-to-kill” order against government officials involved in illegal drugs.

Deputy Speakers Fredenil Castro of Capiz and Raneo Abu of Batangas said the Chief Executive will not do anything that would violate the Constitution and the current laws.

“I think the President should not be taken literally. If I may interpret the statement of the President, what he meant was if the suspect will resist arrest which will endanger the life of the arresting officer, he may shoot the suspect. The President is a lawyer who is well aware of the provisions of the Constitution and relevant laws on the matter,” Castro said in an interview.

Abu said, “I think the President’s statement is a hyperbole which is done to send a strong message that he means business.”

Duterte vowed to name the mayors, a congressman, and policemen involved in illegal drugs whom he said do not deserve due process as they used their positions to “enhance their pocket” and “at the expense of the Filipino people.”

Meanwhile, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat Jr., who claimed he is the “legitimate” House Minority Leader, criticized the Duterte administration for implementing such policy of “double standards” even as he questioned the President’s “no mercy” directive against narco-politicians.

“Aside from not being grounded on due process and has no basis in current jurisprudence, it’s full of false bravado. Because it’s a different set of rules for the rich and powerful. They’re given deadlines to surrender, subject to investigations, invited for coffee. But for the poor, they’re just killed. Arrested, killed without due process,” he said. (Charissa M. Luci)