Palace, Duterte defend shoot-to-kill order vs narco-politicians

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President Duterte is giving his personal guarantee to have the back of policemen in case they get in trouble while performing their duty.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Malacañan Palace defended on Friday President Rodrigo Duterte's shoot-to-kill order on local government officials involved in the illegal drug trade.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, the President's statement on "narco-politicians" was in line or "congruent" with the administration's stance to maintain and protect peace and order in the country.

"He has given due and ample notice that the clear and present danger of drugs engulfing the nation  will be addressed and law enforcers will neutralize those who resist or endanger the lives of arresting officers," Abella said in a statement.

Related: Former, incumbent mayors on drug list surrender to PNP Chief

Duterte made the statement earlier in the morning in Davao City — warning mayors and governors that they would be killed if they were using their position "to enhance your pocket at the expense of the Filipino."

He had previously mentioned that there were about 27 mayors and governors on his drug watchlist — and he would publicly name them soon like what he did with high-ranking police officials and big time drug lords.

But the President also clarified to the police and military that he would fully back them up should they kill drug suspects "for as long as it is done in the performance of a duty."

He said he would answer for these officers should they face probes or charges.

"That is my official and personal guarantee," Duterte said.

Related: PNP Chief: Killing of suspected drug lord is birthday gift to Interior Secretary

The President justified deadly force against drug addicts, whom he described as armed and dangerous — thus, willing to fight back against authorities.

"Pagka-paranoid ang tao may baril talaga iyan, maniwala kayo. Iyang pulis na iyan hindi yan pina-plant," he said.

[Translation: "Once a (drug addict) becomes paranoid, believe me, they will be armed. Those are not planted by the police."]

He also explained the reason why fatalities were usually suspects.

Duterte said this was because of the police's "sheer number and fire power" — they would be better armed and would patrol as a team compared to the usually lone criminal.

Related: Human rights group urges President Duterte to stop killings

He also defended his tough stance against drug personalities against human rights advocates and the United Nations — saying the country was "reeling under a crisis."