MANILA—PDP-LABAN standard bearer and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said his administration will severely punish police officers involved in the illegal drugs trade, stressing that they can be given the death penalty, if found guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
“Here in Manila, let’s be frank, even the police are into drugs,” he said, earning loud applause from the crowd,” he said to a 17,000-strong crowd in Malabon during a recent sortie.
To remove this, one of his first moves as Chief Executive is to double the salary of police and military personnel, adding that his running mate, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, has given assurance that there are funds for such an increase.
“Their salary is not enough. PHP14,000 is their starting salary. How can they raise a family with that?” he said.
Duterte said this is the reason many police officers are tempted to become corrupt and even get involved in criminal activities.
“As soon as I sit down as President the salary of the military and police will be doubled. But if I find out you are involved in drugs, the gunshots in your head will also be doubled,” he said.
The PDP-LABAN standard bearer also warned drug dealers that their lives are in danger if they do not stop their activities.
“I don’t want anybody killed. But at the start of my administration, you drug lords better hide or stop and surrender,” he said.
Duterte also urged drug addicts to come clean so they can be rehabilitated.
“You better report to the nearest police station. Surrender so you can have a record and I can send you to rehab,” he said.
Duterte said those who remain in the drug trade can expect to be dealt with harshly.
“I will use the military because the drug threat is already a national security matter. My order to the police and military is find the drug dealers, arrest them, and if they put up violent resistance and you think your life is in danger, kill them all,” he stressed.