Yet again, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has publicly claimed that he has literally, “personally” killed people he suspected of being criminals. Duterte’s regime has waged a brutal war on poor drug users, nearly 6,000 of whom have been killed. Yet in the same speech where he admitted to extrajudicial killing, Duterte also told his audience he was abusing fentanyl patches until his doctor intervened.
CNN reports that Duterte made the remarks at the Wallace Business Forum in Manila on Monday, reminiscing about riding around on his motorcycle committing murder when he was mayor of Davao City:
“In Davao, I used to do it personally. Just to show the guys that, if I can do it, why can’t you?” Duterte said.
“And (I’d) 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.”
In September, Duterte likened his war against drug users to the Holocaust, casting himself as the main character: “Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there are 3 million drug addicts. ... I’d be happy to slaughter them.” The bodies of those killed by the Duterte regime are often dumped on public streets next to signs reading “pusher.”
But in the same Wallace Business Forum address where he casually admitted to murder, Duterte said he’d had a drug abuse problem of his own, CNN reports:
“I have this migraine every day. I had a bad slip ... I hit my head on the cement. I have a lot of issues with my spine,” he said on Monday.
Duterte said he had been using more than the recommended dose of fentanyl until his doctor stopped him.
“I was only given a fourth of (the whole patch), but no more, because of course my doctor learned that I was using the whole patch because I felt better,” he said.
“When he knew it, he made me stop and he said, ‘The first thing you would lose is your cognitive ability.’”
The Washington Post points out that Duterte’s supporters in government have, once again, found a way to casually dismiss his claims of murder:
On Wednesday, Vitaliano Aguirre II, his justice secretary, said that the president “exaggerated” and that although Duterte said he went “looking” to kill, he actually “must have been forced.”
Besides being a self-admitted murderer, Duterte is evidently a good buddy of Donald Trump’s: recall that our president-elect invited him to the White House not long ago, after a warm and animated phone chat about their shared interests.