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The Next President of the Philippines Promises 'Double Hanging' the Worst Criminals

In his first policy pronouncements since unofficially winning the Filipino presidency, Rodrigo "The Punisher" Duterte also said he would order police to shoot dead suspects who resisted arrest.

by VICE News and Reuters
May 16 2016, 3:12pm

Imagen por Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA

Nicknamed "The Punisher" for his proposed measures to tackle crime, presumptive president-elect of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte is showing no sign of softening his stance as he prepares to assume leadership of the South Asian nation.

Speaking at a news conference in the city of Davao, Duterte said he would beg congress to reintroduce the death penalty that was repealed in 2006 and give security forces orders to shoot dead suspected criminals who violently resisted arrest.

He said he wanted capital punishment to be used for a wide range of crimes including drug offences, robbery, rape, and murder.

Duterte said he preferred death by hanging to a firing squad because he did not want to waste bullets, and because he believed snapping a spine with a noose was more humane.

Those convicted of killing alongside robbery and rape should get "double the hanging," he said.

"After the first hanging, there will be another ceremony for the second time until the head is completely severed from the body," he continued, according to the Associated Press.

Related: Mayor Jokes About Rape, Brags About Death Squads, Gets Elected President of the Philippines

Crime is endemic in the Philippines and Duterte's promise of a war that would wipe out gangs and drugs within six months struck a chord with Filipino voters.

"Do not destroy my country because I will kill you. I will kill you. No middle ground," he said, reported the Guardian. "As long as the requirements of the law are there, if you try to evade arrest, refuse arrest... and you put up a good fight or resist violently, I will say: 'Kill them.'"

In a comment that spiraled into one of his trademark tirades, Duterte reiterated his priority was crushing crime, although not at the expense of economic reform.

"Stop messing with me because I have this sacred promise to save the next generation from the evil of drugs. That is my priority," he said. "We will work simultaneously with the economic managers of this country."

The mayor and self-styled sheriff of Davao City also said he would pursue peace talks with Marxist guerrillas and as an olive branch would offer government roles to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), including its exiled founder.

It was time to put an end to hostilities with the CPP and its armed wing the New People's Army, Duterte said, which has been embroiled in decades of on-off fighting with government troops in the south and east of the country that has killed 40,000 people.

Duterte's peace offer would include a ministerial post to Jose Maria Sison, the CPP figurehead who lives in the Netherlands and was once listed by the United States as a "person supporting terrorism."

"I offer my hand in peace to Sison and to others and we can talk," Duterte told the news conference in Davao, where he has remained since a May 9 election for which an unofficial vote count shows him a clear winner.

Duterte said his first 100 days would be concentrated in revamping the police force and eliminating crime.

He also said he would launch a major military offensive to destroy the Islamist extremist group Abu Sayyaf on southern Jolo Island, without concerns for human rights, reported AP.

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Related: Philippine Presidential Candidate Refuses to Apologize for 'Revolting' Rape Joke

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Rodrigo Duterte
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