Updated 11:09 AM PHT Tue, January 10, 2017
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday that he plans to confront mayors allegedly linked to the illegal drug trade.
"Tatawagin ko yung mga mayors, kami-kami lang," he said at a mass oath-taking of public officials in Malacañang. "Sabihin ko talaga sa kanila: 'Hanapin mo yung pangalan mo diyan (sa narco-list), mayor. T--gina, 'pag nandiyan yung pangalan mo, may problema ka. Talagang papatayin kita."
[Translation: I would call for the mayors and we would speak privately. I will really tell them: "Look for your name in the narco-list. Son of a whore, if your name is there, you have a problem. I will really kill you."]
The narco-list pertains to the thick stack of papers — containing names of people allegedly involved in the country's illegal drug trade — which the President shows in speeches when he talks about his war on drugs. He said he plans to reveal the list to the public.
Duterte also said he has asked the Supreme Court, the Senate and the House of Representatives to help him in his fight against drugs.
Three people in the list publicly named by Duterte — former Iligan City Mayor Lawrence Cruz, former Iligan City Rep. Vicente Belmonte and former Lugait, Misamis Oriental Mayor Wellie Lim — denied their involvement in the drug trade and requested a meeting with the President.
One person in the list, Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom of Datu Saudi Ampatuan town in Maguindanao, was killed in October 2016 in a supposed shootout with police conducting an anti-drug operation.
Dimaukom and his wife had presented themselves before the Maguindanao Provincial Police office in August 2016 to clear their name.
However, the veracity of the list has been questioned, especially after the President publicly apologized to Pangasinan Rep. Amado Espino, Pangasinan Board Member Raul Sison, and former Pangasinan Provincial Administrator Raffy Baraan for the erroneous inclusion of their names in the first version of the list.
The Supreme Court likewise cleared three judges named in the narco-list following its own investigation.
Remove power over cops
Meanwhile, Duterte said he wants mayors in the list deprived of their powers over the local police.
He said the illegal drug trade thrives in communities when mayors and their local police chiefs get into the business.
"Wag ninyo akong lokohin," Duterte said. "The first thing I would do is deprive you of the supervisory powers over the police. Second is tanggalin ko lahat ng security mo."
[Translation: Don't fool me. The first thing I would do is deprive you of the supervisory powers over the police. The second thing is to remove your security detail.]
Amid criticisms of alleged extrajudicial killings, Duterte vowed that all drug pushers in the country will be killed in his administration's anti-illegal drug campaign, which has resulted in thousands of deaths and over a million drug surrenderees.
"I might go down in history as the butcher," he said. "Eh bahala kayo [That is up to you]."
Duterte said if he was around when law enforcement agents busted the big shabu laboratory in San Juan, he would have killed members of the group behind anti-drug officers' biggest haul to date.
"Dalhin kita sa likod sa apartment, barilin kita doon," he said. "Tapos sabihin ko, 'Sino gusto sumunod? Totoo. Isang toneladang shabu? P---ngina, you are ripe for the kill."
[Translation: I would take you to the back of the apartment and shoot you. Then I'd say, "Who wants to go next?" Really. One ton of shabu? Son of a whore, you are ripe for the kill.]
CNN Philippines Digital Producer VJ Bacungan contributed to this report.