During a speaking engagement over the weekend, the president flatly denied that the killings were a handiwork of his administration, which is bent on eradicating the drug menace, the Manila Bulletin reports.
“We do not do that. It’s a dirty job. At saka para kang hindi lalaki; talian mo, balutin mo—it’s a form of torture,” Duterte said, referring to the state victims are found.
“Hindi trabaho ng pulis iyan pati sundalo. Bakit mo balutin eh ‘di patayin mo na lang?” he added.
Duterte also apologized for the unintentional deaths of the innocent, caught in the crossfire between cops and drug suspects allegedly resisting arrest.
He then reassured the public that his administration, which is being criticized by the public for its method on waging the war on drugs, will look into the cases of extrajudicial killings.
Duterte’s statement comes days after Senator Leila de Lima called the president a murderer and the “father of extrajudicial killings.”
Currently, police data shows there are over 5,000 deaths attributed to the war on drugs since the Duterte administration took over in July.