Duterte to Ombudsman: Find law vs threatening criminals

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 17) — President Rodrigo Duterte called out Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales over her remarks that he is "goading" people to kill.

"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.' Because if you can do that, I will step down tomorrow," Duterte said in a speech after the mass oathtaking of presidential appointees and government officials Monday.

Duterte said he was misquoted by the Ombudsman, as he never said "killed people", but "killing the criminals".

Morales, in an interview with NHK World Thursday, said it is "not acceptable" for the President to threaten criminals.

"He's goading people to kill people. That's a problem. The directive to kill people under any situation irrespective to the context, to me that's unacceptable," she said.

He accused the Ombudsman of not knowing her law, and suggested that she address corruption in her office instead of criticizing the President's language.

"Ayusin mo yung Ombudsman mo, akala mo santo kayo diyan (set things straight in the Ombudsman's office, you think you're saints). Do not play god and shut up," he said.

Duterte added he did not want to confront Morales because her brother, Lucas Carpio Jr., is the father-in-law of his daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

The Ombudsman responded to Duterte's remarks in a statement, saying she was "amused by so much ado" about something she did not say.

"The President should review what she said first. Beyond this the Ombudsman does not find it necessary to say anything more," the statement read.