Duterte Won't Apologize for Over 6,200 Deaths in Drug War
jpnn.com, FILIPINA - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday (4/1) said he would never apologize for the deaths of thousands of suspected drug users and dealers as a result of his controversial anti-drug policies.
The deaths in the anti-drug operations have long been protested by human rights groups.
More than 6,200 suspected drug users and dealers have died in anti-narcotics operations in the Philippines since Duterte took office from June 2016 to November 2021.
"I will never, never apologize for the deaths," Duterte said in his weekly national address. "Kill me, imprison me, I will never apologize."
Rights groups and critics say the drug suspects were executed by law enforcers. However, Philippine police said the suspects killed were armed and vehemently resisted arrest.
Duterte, in his first national address in 2022, vowed to protect law enforcers doing their job and told them to fight back when their lives were in danger.
Duterte, 76, won the presidency by a wide margin in 2016 on pledges for anti-corruption, law enforcement, and order efforts.
He is constitutionally barred from running for re-election next year. However, analysts say an elected ally of Duterte could protect him from any legal action over his anti-narcotics program.
Duterte said he would never apologize for the deaths of thousands of suspected drug users and dealers.
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