After you are hanged first, there will be another ceremony for the second time until the head is completely severed from the body. I like that because I am mad
Davao, May 16
Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte vowed today to introduce executions by hanging as part of a ruthless law-and-order crackdown that would also include ordering military snipers to kill suspected criminals.
In back-to-back press conferences since his landslide victory in May 9 elections, the tough-talking mayor of southern Davao city said security forces would be given “shoot-to-kill” orders and that citizens would learn to fear the law.
“Those who destroy the lives of our children will be destroyed,” Duterte said in wide-ranging comments to reporters in Davao this afternoon as he outlined on his war on crime once he is sworn into office on June 30.
“Those who kill my country will be killed. Simple as that. No middle ground. No apologies. No excuses.”
Duterte also vowed to roll out Davao law-and-order measures on a nationwide basis, including a 2:00am curfew on drinking in public places and a ban on children walking on the streets alone late at night.
Smoking in restaurants and hotels will also be banned.
Duterte said a central part of his war on crime would be to bring back the death penalty, which was abolished in 2006 under then-president Gloria Arroyo. Duterte said he would ask Congress to reintroduce capital punishment for a wide range of crimes, including drug trafficking, rape, murder, robbery and kidnapping-for-ransom.
He said he preferred death by hanging to a firing squad because he did not want to waste bullets, and because he believed snapping the spine with a noose was more humane. For people convicted of two major crimes, Duterte said he wanted them hanged twice.
“After you are hanged first, there will be another ceremony for the second time until the head is completely severed from the body. I like that because I am mad,” he said.
The centrepiece of Duterte’s stunningly successful election campaign was a pledge to end crime within three to six months of being elected.
Duterte vowed during the campaign to kill tens of thousands criminals, outraging his critics but hypnotising tens of millions of Filipinos fed up with rampant crime and graft.
He said on one occasion that 100,000 people would die, and so many bodies would be dumped in Manila Bay that the fish would grow fat from feeding on them.
In an initial press conference late on Sunday, Duterte said his “shoot-to-kill” orders would be given for those involved in organised criminals or who resisted arrest.
“If you resist, show violent resistance, my order to police (will be) to shoot to kill. Shoot to kill for organised crime,” he said.
Duterte said the military as well as the police would be used in his war on crime. “I need military officers who are sharp-shooters and snipers. It’s true. If you (criminals) fight, I will have a sniper shoot you,” he said.
On his ban on children walking alone late at night, Duterte warned the parents of repeat offenders would be arrested and thrown into jail for “abandonment”.
The current president, Benigno Aquino, warned repeatedly during the election campaign that Duterte was a dictator in the making and would bring terror to the nation.
A version of this article appears in print on May 17, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.