MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said that he took a person’s life at age 16.
In a speech before the Filipino community in Vietnam, the president told a story of how blood on his hands dripped for the first time.
“At the age of 16, may pinatay na ako eh. Tao talaga. Rumble. Saksak. Noon 16 years old ‘yun. Nagkatinginan lang [At the age of 16, I’ve already killed. A real person. Rumble. Stabbing. I was 16 year-old then. We just exchanged dirty looks],” Duterte said.
The president told this story as testament that he is not afraid to be jailed for the alleged extrajudicial killings committed under his war against illegal drugs.
“Kulong? Ay sus. Kulong nung teenager ako, pasok, labas, pasok ako sa kulungan [Imprison? My god. I was jailed when I was a teenager, I was in and out of jail],” he said.
In the same speech, Duterte also said that since he had killed when he was still young, what would stop him now that he’s a president?
“Eh lalo na ngayon Presidente ako [Especially now that I am the President]. You f*** with my countrymen, hindi kita palulusutin. [I will not let you get away]. Bahala na kayong human rights [I don’t care about human rights]. Ang akin is the larger issue of — Mabuti na nga ito pinatay na’t wala na silang problema [It’s better that they’re killed so they wouldn’t have problems anymore],” he said.
“Papatayin talaga kita [I will really kill you]. ‘Yan ang totoo [That’s the truth]. Let it be announced to the world,” he added.
This was not the first time Duterte claimed of having committed acts of violence. In earlier statements, he had told stories of dropping kidnappers off a helicopter in mid-flight, stabbing and possibly killing a man in a drunken fight at 17, and “personally” killing drug suspects while still a mayor of Davao City.
Meawhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that Duterte’s murder revelation was simply spoken “in jest.”
“The President uses colorful language when with Pinoys overseas,” Roque said.