Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte wants 6 months to tackle drug problem

PHILIPPINES President Rodrigo Duterte wants six more months to “put everything in order” regarding his country’s drug problems.
Duterte said Saturday he did not realise the severity of the problem until he became president. He’s been accused of ordering or encouraging hundreds of killings of drug dealers and users since taking office in June, CNN stated.
“But the problem is … I cannot kill them all … even if I wanted to,” he told reporters. “I did not have any idea that there were hundreds of thousands of people already in the drug business and what makes it worse is that they are operated now by people in government — especially those elected positions.”
His comments, which were made at a news conference on the release of a Norwegian hostage by a militant group, came two days after Edgar Matobato, a self-described Duterte hit man, testified before a senate committee.
Matabato said he was part of a death squad to kill drug dealers on orders from Duterte when the president was mayor of the city of Davao between 1988 and 2013.
Duterte’s spokesman denied Duterte supports extajudicial killings. The president did tell police to shoot if a criminal resisted arrest, and in a speech he also appeared to tell civilians to take the law into their own hands.
“If (a criminal) fights, and he fights to the death, you can kill him,” he said. “Please feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have the gun … you have my support.”
Human Rights Watch said the nation needs an “independent” investigation into whether Duterte has had a role in extrajudicial killings. So far, the drug crackdown has made the president popular with many Philippines citizens, although it also has opened him up to criticism that he and the police have gone too far.
Police Chief Ronald Dela Rosa told the senate committee investigating the killings there was no kill order, but people support the drug crackdown despite errors in judgment by police.
“We are only human… We admit we make mistakes, we are not perfect,” he said.