Duterte beats Putin: I kill criminals, not children, old people

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MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte slammed Russian leader Vladimir Putin for killing innocent civilians in Ukraine, saying while labeling the two as murderers, “I kill criminals, I don’t kill children and the elderly.” People.”

Duterte, who openly calls Putin an idol and a friend, first voiced his rebuke at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a remark aired on Tuesday, in which he blamed the three-month-old war for the surge in global oil prices that is affecting many countries haunted. including the Philippines.

Duterte, while emphasizing that he did not condemn the Russian president, contradicted Putin’s description of the invasion as a “special military operation” and said it was truly a full-scale war being waged against “a sovereign nation”.

“Many say that Putin and I are both murderers. I’ve been telling you Filipinos for a long time that I really kill. But I kill criminals, I don’t kill children and the elderly,” Duterte said at a weekly televised meeting with key Cabinet officials. “We are in two different worlds.”

Duterte, who is stepping down on June 30 when his tumultuous six-year tenure ends, has led a brutal drug crackdown that has killed more than 6,000 mostly insignificant suspects. Human rights groups have cited a much higher death toll and say innocent people, including children, have been killed in the campaign Duterte plans to continue until his last day in office.

The unprecedentedly massive killings from drug campaigns have sparked an investigation by the International Criminal Court as a possible crime against humanity. Duterte said he expects to face more drug-related lawsuits after his presidency ends.

Duterte and his law enforcement officers have refused to sanction extrajudicial killings as part of the campaign against illegal drugs, but have openly threatened drug suspects with death and made an unsuccessful attempt to reinstate the death penalty in Asia’s largest Roman Catholic nation to target drug dealers and other criminals to deter.

When he took office in 2016, he reached out to Russia and China on trade and investment and expanding military cooperation, while frequently criticizing the security policies of Washington, Manila’s longtime contractor.

He visited Russia twice in 2017 and 2019 to meet Putin, but cut short his first visit after militants from the Islamic State group besieged the southern Philippine city of Marawi while he was traveling with his defense minister and military chief of staff.

More than a week after Russian forces besieged Ukraine, the Philippines voted in favor of a UN General Assembly resolution condemning the Russian invasion. The Philippines appealed for the protection of civilians and public infrastructure in Ukraine, though Duterte refrained from harshly criticizing Putin and said he was becoming neutral in a conflict that could potentially lead to the use of nuclear weapons and trigger World War III stay.

Duterte addressed Putin “as a friend” and the Russian embassy in Manila, urging them to stop bombing and firing artillery shells at residential areas and allow innocent civilians to safely evacuate before launching a bombardment.

“You have everything under control. Anyway, you really started the riot there, so control your soldiers tightly. They’re raging,” Duterte said.

Duterte said he was concerned about the stability of his country’s oil supply as the war in Ukraine continues to rage and sparks global instability.

“I’m on my way out and I don’t know how to solve this problem,” Duterte said. “They must resolve the war between Ukraine and Russia before we can even speak of a return to normal.”

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