Duterte warns of new series of killings if drug syndicate-backed village officials win in May polls
President Rodrigo Duterte warned of a new series of killings if drug syndicate-backed village officials would win in the May elections.
In a speech in Davao City, Duterte said it would be up to Congress to decide on whether the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections would push through in May.
He said he ordered his special assistant, Secretary Christopher "Bong" Go, to tell Congress that it would be their choice whether to postpone the local polls.
"Because if we give our input, many would again (say) dictatorial. (I) don't like election," he said.
Thus, Duterte said it would be up to Congress to decide.
"But remember that the drug situation is still very, very alive and vicious. So if the barangay captains, backed up with drug money, will win again, it will be a new fight. That will be a new series of killings," he said.
"So I won't say there will be no election or there will be election. But I will never, never until the end of my term, to the last day, allow a government official to use his power or position as a platform to engage in criminality, especially drugs," Duterte said.
Duterte reiterated he would take full responsibility of the consequences of his war on drugs.
The government's official record showed more than 4,000 people have been killed due to illegal drugs since the campaign against narcotics was implemented in July 2016 until February. Celerina Monte/DMS