The Philippines' controversial president, Rodrigo Duterte, has upped his game and is now challenging God. He wants to re-impose the death penalty to ensure that criminals pay for their sins in case God does not exist.
He challenged “bleeding hearts” like priests and human rights groups who question his administration’s harsh death penalty system and Duterte's relentless and aggressive war on drugs.
“Every president along the way didn’t impose it only because the Catholic Church and all the bleeding hearts would say that only God could kill. But what if there is no God?” said the irate president in a speech from his palace, Malacañang.
“When a 1-year-old baby, 18-months-old baby is taken from the mother’s arms brought under a jeep and raped and killed. So where is God? My God, where are you?” asked Duterte.
“I believe in God but that is my perpetual question to him. Where were you when we needed you? It’s not enough to say that at the end of the world, he will judge the living and the dead. What would be the purpose of all of that if the heartaches, sorrows and agony have already been inflicted in this world?” he went on.
Duterte believes in taking things in your own hands and dealing with them instead of following rules. One of his first words when he got elected were, "If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”
He sure has no tolerance for drug dealers, “These sons of wh**** are destroying our children. I warn you, don’t go into that, even if you’re a policeman, because I will really kill you,” the newly inaugurated president announced in July.
He surely has kept his word by ignoring criticism pouring in from all around
Duterte has come to be known as "the punisher."
Thousands of suspected drug dealers have been killed since Duterte took office — many of them in vigilante killings.
Human rights groups estimate the body count to be at least double the official number.
But the tragic consequences have not been able to discourage the Filipino leader’s murderous campaign in any way, apparently, as was made clear to reporters at a bizarre and long-drawn-out press conference in Davao City.
In a scathing response to U.N .and U.S. criticism over human rights violations, Duterte threatened to “separate” the Philippines from the U.N.
He even defended his anti-drug war by comparing it to the killings of unarmed black men at the hands of U.S. police.
"Why are you Americans killing the black people there, shooting them down when they are already on the ground?" he asked in response to a journalist’s question about his lethal war on drugs. "Answer that question, because even if it's just one or two or three, it is still human rights violations."
He may believe in God, but he believes in taking matters in his own hands.
“I am not afraid of human rights (concerns.) I will not allow my country to go to the dogs,” Duterte said, vowing to pardon all abuses committed by security forces.
“Why will I give you a (due) process? I am the president. I don't give you (due) process.”
“I don’t expect you to keep faith in me or to believe in me all the time but … God is there. I have never killed an innocent human being. Never. I don’t like it,” he added.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Czar Dancel