PHILIPPINES President Rodrigo Duterte has warned a Chinese drug suspect that he will die at Manila Airport if he returns to the Southeast Asian nation.
“Do not come back to the Philippines anymore. The moment he steps out of the plane, he will die,” Duterte said in spontaneous remarks broadcast by a state-run TV network.
When asked how the suspect, identified as Peter Lim, would die, Duterte responded “never mind”.
“We’re really being insulted by the drug people,” he said. “Since they are beyond redemption, they can stop and commit suicide because I will not allow these idiots to run their show, not during my watch.”
Pres. Duterte to Peter Lim: "The moment he lands at NAIA, he will die." https://t.co/LMw38sQmLx
— Ja Jang (@abstruseJANG) July 8, 2016
Duterte also said two detained drug trafficking suspects would be killed if they attempted to escape.
The controversial president won the May 9 elections overwhelmingly on a bold promise to end crime and corruption in the first three to six months of his presidency.
He has backed up that promise with action, with the number of drug suspects shot dead by police increasing four-fold in recent weeks.
Duterte’s tough-talking rhetoric has become par for the course since he took up the presidency last month. However, this is believed to be the first time he has threatened to kill a foreign national.
In recent weeks he has encouraged police, and even civilians, to shoot drug dealers if they fight back. He even went a step further earlier this week, urging the public to not only kill drug dealers, but addicts as well.
“If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful,” he said.
He added that, “these sons of whores are destroying our children.”
The 71-year-old former Davao Mayor’s war on drugs has raised concern among human rights groups.
UN experts last month called on Duterte to “stop instigating deadly violence immediately”, after he indicated that many journalists who were murdered deserved to die for being corrupt.
Additional reporting by Associated Press