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Duterte warns mayors on his drug list: “Resign, sons of bitches, or die”

President Duterte has warned the mayors named on his list of drug dealers that they must quit, or die.

During an oath-taking ceremony for more than 200 appointees on Monday (January 9), the president warned the mayors to resign and “make a clean break of everything” or be killed.

“As long as I’m president, these big ‘shabu’ dealers will die and the next batch would really be these mayors. I will call them and lock them up,” he said during the ceremony at the Malacañang.

“I will call the mayors. I will lock them in so it’s just us,

“I will really tell them; ‘The list I gave you is this thick. Look for your name there, mayor’.

“If your name is there, son of a bitch, you have a problem, I will really kill you.

“Either you resign or make a clean break of everything, come up with clean nose, and we’ll talk.”

According to a report by Inquirer.net, every single mayor in the country has been summoned to the palace for a meeting today (Wednesday). “They were all invited”, the ‘highly reliable source’ was quoted as confirming.

Vice President Leni Robredo has expressed concern over the president’s threat to the mayors. She said: “We hope the President was only exaggerating when he talked of killing mayors included in his drug list.

“We also caution the president in making such pronouncements. We believe in the rule of law and believe that only the courts can decide if mayors in the drug list are guilty or innocent.”

The president also said that mayors with ties to the drug industry should prepare themselves to have their personal protection teams taken away. “The first thing that I would do is to deprive you of the supervisory powers over the police, second is I will remove all of your security detail,” he warned.

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“I might go down in history as ‘the butcher’. It’s up to you.”

The president has previously voiced suspicions that some mayorsuse their power to prevent the police cracking down on the drug trade in their cities and towns.

The president has made numerous threats to kill people connected with drugs, but still insists the recent wave of killings are not the work of the government — except in those cases where police were defending themselves.

The war on drugs has drawn international criticism from the United States and United Nations over concerns about extrajudicial killings and a breakdown in the rule of law.

However, the policy remains popular among the people, according to opinion polls. A recent survey by Social Weather Stations showed a clear majority backed Duterte’s war on drugs — but at the same time 78 per cent were worried that they or someone in their family could become a victim of the killings.

The survey also showed 71 per cent said it was “very important” that police keep suspects alive.

Despite this wide support, signs of a public backlash against the killings were visible at Monday’s Feast of the Black Nazarene. As we reported (here), numbers of devotees were spotted wearing t-shirts bearing the legend “Huwag kang papatay” (thou shall not kill).

Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, used his pulpit to preach a pointed sermon about forgiveness and the dangers of judging others as an estimated eight million Catholics gathered in the city.

(Cover photo by Rey Baniquet/ Presidential Photo)