Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II says killing criminal suspects ‘could be done in a justifiable cause, circumstances’
After another statement from President Rodrigo Duterte that he personally killed drug suspects, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II defended his boss anew, saying he did not violate the law.
“He must have been forced to kill,” Aguirre told reporters on Wednesday, December 14, after attending an executive session in the Senate.
“Wala, hindi nangangahulugang porke pumatay ka ng suspect, may violation ng laws. It could be done in a justifiable cause; justifiable circumstances as public officer or you’re ordered to arrest pero lumaban ‘yung suspect,” he added, echoing the official reason for the death of alleged drug users and pushers in police operations.
(It’s nothing, just because you killed a suspect that does not mean you violated laws. It could be done in a justifiable cause; justifiable circumstances as public officer or you’re ordered to arrest but the suspect fought back.)
Just hours after denying he was a killer, Duterte told businessmen at a forum in Malacañang on Monday that he killed alleged drug users and pushers while he was mayor of Davao City. This was not the first time the President announced such acts.
“I know it because – I am not trying to pull my own chair – in Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the [police] that if I can do it, why can’t you?” Duterte said during the Wallace Business Forum in the Palace.
“I go around in Davao [on] a big bike and I would just patrol the streets and looking for trouble. I was really looking for an encounter to kill,” he said.
Senate witness Edgar Matobato had made the same allegation against Duterte, accusing him of participating in the summary execution of some victims of the so-called Davao Death Squad when he was mayor.