CEBU CITY—President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night said his tough stance against criminals was actually a “plea” for them to stop.
“I don’t want to use to use extraordinary means,” he said, adding a plea to criminals to stop their unlawful activities. “If you do, then we have no problem,” he said.
Duterte was in Cebu Wednesday night to attend two thanksgiving parties organized by his supporters.
Cebu delivered some 1.14 million votes for Duterte in the May 9 local and national elections.
The thanksgiving party organized by the Bisaya Napud Movement at the exclusive Cebu Country Club in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City, attended by some 300 of his supporters, was closed for media coverage, but it was on live stream on Facebook.
Duterte, who had previously offered PHP3 million for every drug lord caught dead or alive, raised the reward’s amount to PHP5 million if the criminal is caught or killed in Cebu because, he said, he liked Cebu.
He also vowed to be even tougher on policemen, other law enforcers, and even elected officials across the country who would be found to be in cahoots or protecting drug lords and other crime groups.
He was also unfazed with the criticisms that he was promoting a “culture of death, by once saying he would not hesitate to go after criminals who would not change their ways.
“If they could not be talked into changing, let’s kill them then,” he said.
The declaration was met by applause by those in the audience.
Duterte said he protected the two million people of Davao City as their mayor and promised to do the same for the rest of the country.