July 18, 2017| Tuesday
This was President Rodrigo Duterte’s reaction to Ombudsman Conchita Morales’ pronouncement that he was goading people to kill drug offenders to solve the drug menace in the country.
Duterte said he would quit immediately if Morales could show him a law barring him or anyone from threatening to kill drug lords and other criminals.
“Ombudsman Morales is a lawyer so she knows this. Ombudsman Morales, find me a law which says I cannot threaten criminals with death. Find me a law which would bar me from saying, ‘I will destroy you if you destroy my country,’ ” the President said in remarks at the oath taking of new appointees yesterday at Malacañang.
“Because if you can do that, I will step down tomorrow, just give the law to me,” he added.
Reacting to Duterte’s tirade, Morales said she was standing by her word that threatening to kill criminals was unacceptable, but clarified she did not say doing so was a criminal act.
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Morales, an appointee of former president Benigno Aquino III, earlier told Japanese media outlet NHK World that Duterte’s directive to kill drug suspects is not acceptable. She also said the President’s communication team keeps on rationalizing his tough words by dismissing them as mere hyperbole.
“He’s goading people to kill people,’” Morales said in an interview on NHK.
Duterte tried to turn the tables on Morales, saying she and the people under her are not blameless.
“Ayusin mo iyang Ombudsman mo, akala mo santo kayo diyan (Straighten your office. You think you are saints there),” the President said.
Duterte said Morale should be ashamed of herself because she does not know that there is no law prohibiting him from threatening criminals with death.
“Abogado ka, anak ng jueteng, ako ordinary lang, 75. Pero alam ko ang batas ko, ikaw dumating ka pa ng Supreme Court, hindi mo alam iyan, mahiya ka sa sarili mo (You are a lawyer. I’m just an ordinary lawyer with a grade of 75. But I know my law. You even became a justice of the Supreme Court. Yet you do not know that. Be ashamed of yourself),” the President said.
“Ako nagpipigil ako, kasi your brother is my balae, buti alam ng tao iyan. Pero kung ganun ka mag-ano…nakita mo ang sitwasyon. Come ka sa Marawi, for one week (I am trying to restrain myself because your brother is the father-in-law of my daughter. But if you talk like that, you have seen the situation. Come to Marawi for one week),” he added.
The Ombudsman is the sister of Lucas Carpio Jr., the husband of Court of Appeals Justice Agnes Reyes Carpio. Agnes and Lucas are the parents of Mans Carpio, husband of Duterte’s daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Duterte, known for his inflammatory and provocative statements, advised Morales to control her mouth.
“Ombudsman, I had dealings with them when I was a prosecutor, My God…. Wag ka ngang masyadong killing-killing (Do not dwell too much on the killings), why, what is your sense? When did you anoint yourself as the spokesman for the criminals?” Duterte said.
“Do not be the conscience of the community, you do not know that the drug problem has returned. All you do is to sit. Why? Is the Ombudsman not corrupt? Ask the people who had cases there,” he said, with expletives.
“Masyado kang bunganga mo, rendahan mo iyang bunganga mo, ke may problema at totoo, galit talaga ako (You talk too much. Control your mouth. We have a problem and that’s true. I am rhhhhheally angry).”