Philippines presidential hopeful Duterte vows to restore death penalty by Edwin Espejo | 10th December 2015 | @edwinespejo 162 SOCIAL BUZZ Davao City’s maverick Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is making a dent as a viable presidential contender

Philippines presidential hopeful Duterte vows to restore death penalty
by Edwin Espejo | 10th December 2015 | @edwinespejo
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SOCIAL BUZZ
Davao City’s maverick Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is making a dent as a viable presidential contender in the 2016 gerneal elections. Pic: Edwin Espejo.

Davao City’s maverick Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is making a dent as a viable presidential contender in the 2016 gerneal elections. Pic: Edwin Espejo.
PHILIPPINE presidential front runner and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he favors the return of the death penalty to combat growing criminality in the Philippines.

In a wide-ranging 2-hour interview with teleradio station dzMM, the maverick Davao City Mayor said he will restore capital punishment for drug-related and heinous crimes.

“Yes, I approved. (Specifically on) drug and heinous crime,” was his short replay when asked by program host Karen Davila.

The death penalty was abolished by Philippine Congress in 2006 after strong lobbying from the Catholic Church.

Capital punishment had been part of the Philippine statute since in gained independence in 1946.

Duterte is known to hit hard on criminals and drug pushers, with TIME magazine branding him “The Punisher.”

Critics and human rights activist however have slammed Duterte for his high-handed approach to criminality.

He has admitted to pulling the trigger in at least three shooting incidents involving criminals.

One such incident was the kidnapping of the daughter of a pawnshop owner who was also repeatedly raped by her abductors. The kidnappers later brought their victim to her home after collecting the ransom.

“When they alighted, I just shot them,” Duterte said.

He defended his actions saying under the law, his action was justified.

Duterte said they were committing a crime under his presence.

“I am a person in authority and they were committing a crime in my presence,” said the former Davao city assistant city prosecutor.

In a separate incident, he is reported to have pushed a drug suspect out of a flying helicopter.

Despite the fearsome reputation he has built and accusations of human rights violations, Duterte is widely popular and enjoys the support of Davao City residents.

Davao residents are taking pride that their city has become one of the peaceful places in the country and has been voted as among Asia’s most livable cities.

Describing himself as a disinterested presidential candidate, Duterte has warned that his presidency will be bloody. He even threatened to dump the bodies of criminals in Manila Bay for the fish to feast on.

Duterte formally filed and affirmed his candidacy on December 8 as substitute for PDP-Laban candidate Martin Dino, who earlier withdrew his candidacy.

The 70-year city mayor is leading a privately commissioned survey garnering 38 percent of voter preference nationwide.

Erstwhile survey leaders vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Grace Poe are tied second at 21 percent while administration candidate Mar Roxas is far behind at 15 percent.

Topics covered: Philippines Philippines Election Rodrigo Duterte

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