Duterte claims he never killed anyone

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 6) – President Rodrigo Duterte claimed that he never killed anyone, contradicting previous statements where he said he killed some individuals during his term as Davao City mayor.

"Wala ho akong pinatay na tao (I did not kill anyone). Never, never. Magtanong ka sa pulis dito sa Pilipinas (Just ask the police here in the Philippines)," said Duterte during the weekly Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases meeting on Monday.

The President made the remark after saying that he would "see to it that the rule of law against a person is followed" in investigating Health Secretary Francisco Duque III amid calls for his resignation.

Duterte added in his speech that he has never ordered anyone to kill.

"If I do, I just keep it in my mind because I know that whether I like it or not, there is a war going on. I cannot stop the killing of criminals and the killing of my soldiers and policemen," Duterte explained.

In December 2016, Duterte admitted in front of business leaders at the Wallace Business Forum he killed suspected criminals when he was still mayor of Davao City.

"In Davao, I used to do it personally. I go around Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around and I would just patrol the streets and looking for trouble also. I was really looking for an encounter so I could kill," he said.

Duterte also claimed on November 2017 he killed a teenager, which served as a threat against those who are involved in illegal drugs.

"At the age of 16, may pinatay na ako eh. Tao talaga. Rumble. Saksak. Noon 16 years old 'yun. Nagkatinginan lang. Eh lalo na ngayon Presidente ako," the President said in front of the Filipino community in Da Nang, Vietnam.

[Translation: At the age of 16, I had already killed someone. A person. It was a rumble. I stabbed him. We just looked at each other. What more now that I'm President.]

Duterte made the same claim of killing people on July 2019 since he felt that was what former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wanted.

"You might want to know that even when I was mayor and for the years that President Arroyo was there, I was really working for her. Of course, wala akong pinatay na tao na utos niya. Pinatay ko na lang kasi feeling ko gusto niya (Of course I didn't kill under her direct orders. I just killed because I felt that is what she wanted me to do.)," he said.

The incumbent President has been accused of being behind the "Davao Death Squad" a shadowy vigilante squad that human rights groups blame for the extrajudicial deaths of some 1,000 crime suspects in Davao City since the 1990s.

The United Nations Office of the Human Rights Commissioner earlier asked for an investigation on Duterte's claims of killing innocent people.