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President lashes out at Morales

By: Genalyn D. Kabiling

A word war has erupted between President Duterte and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales over her criticism of the Chief Executive’s threat to kill criminals.

The President lashed out at the Ombudsman for meddling with his anti-drug crackdown, saying she should shut up and focus on cleaning up her corruption-prone office.

A fuming President even offered to resign if the Ombudsman could find a law prohibiting him from threatening drug criminals with death.

“Do not play God and shut up,” the President said during the oath-taking ceremony of government officials in Malacañang yesterday.

“Ombudsman Morales, find me a law which says I cannot threaten criminals with death. Find me a law that will bar me from saying I will destroy you if you destroy my country because if you can do that I will step down tomorrow,” he said.

The President denounced the Ombudsman for publicly castigating him similar to the action of former US President Barack Obama, saying her office has its own share of offenses.

“Since when did you anoint yourself as the spokesman for the criminals? Rendahan mo nga bunganga mo kasi may problem,” the President said. “Mahiya ka sa sarili mo,” he added.

He insinuated that the Ombudsman’s office is plagued with corruption problems, citing his experience when he was a Davao City prosecutor. “Ayusin mo yang Ombudsman mo akala mo santo kayo dyan,” he added.

The President insisted that there was nothing illegal with threatening to kill criminals in the country. Duterte, who has launched a brutal crackdown on illegal drugs and crimes, said he has a sworn duty to protect and defend the Filipino nation.

“Abogado ka, anak ng jueteng. Ako, ordinaryo lang, 75 pero alam ko ang batas ko. Ikaw, dumating ka pa ng Supreme Court, ‘di mo alam ‘yan?” he said.

The President admitted that he tried to restrain his comments against Morales due to their family relations. But he resented the Ombudsman’s public scrutiny of his anti-drug efforts.