A war of words has broken out between the chief of the nation‚Äôs human rights body and the controversial vice-mayor of a southern city after the local official called for a suspected car thief‚Äôs decapitated head to be brought before him.
Loretta Ann Rosales, chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, said the call issued by Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City ‚Äúbelongs in the Middle Ages.‚ÄĚ
Duterte is popularly known in the Philippines as Mindanao‚Äôs ‚ÄúDirty Harry,‚ÄĚ after the no-nonsense San Francisco detective played¬†by Clint Eastwood in a series of movies.
In 2002, Time magazine called Duterte ‚ÄúThe Punisher‚ÄĚ for threatening criminals in the city.
Last week, he offered P4 million ($96,800) for the head of Ryan Yu, the alleged leader of a notorious carjacking gang.¬†He later offered an extra P1 million¬†if someone brought him Yu‚Äôs head.
‚ÄúIf you can bring to me the head of Ryan Yu, just make sure to put ice on it so it will not smell. I am willing to give P5 million,‚ÄĚ Duterte said.
In her angry response,¬†Rosales said dangling money for the arrest of a suspect ‚ÄĒ dead or alive ‚ÄĒ exposes a suspect to human rights violations.
‚ÄúThe public will be motivated by money. They will no longer give value to his basic rights ‚ÄĒ to right to life. What they will give more importance to now is money,‚ÄĚ Rosales said. [More]