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Rights chief slams Mindanao’s ‘Dirty Harry’

October 30, 2012
Rights chief slams Mindanao’s ‘Dirty Harry’ thumbnail
Duterte has been linked to extrajudicial killings. Picture: Keith Kristoffer Bacongo/Wikimedia Commons

A war of words has broken out between the chief of the nation’s human rights body and the controversial vice-mayor of a southern city after the local official called for a suspected car thief’s 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 “belongs in the Middle Ages.”

Duterte is popularly known in the Philippines as Mindanao’s “Dirty Harry,” after the no-nonsense San Francisco detective played by Clint Eastwood in a series of movies.

In 2002, Time magazine called Duterte “The Punisher” 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’s head.

“If 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,” Duterte said.

In her angry response, Rosales said dangling money for the arrest of a suspect — dead or alive — exposes a suspect to human rights violations.

“The public will be motivated by money. They will no longer give value to his basic rights — to right to life. What they will give more importance to now is money,” Rosales said. [More]


UCA News

  • Fr Sean Coyle

    Mr Duterte’s action can be described only as evil. During the years that he was mayor Davao City became the most lawless in the Philippines, with more than 800 still unsolved murders [http://www.hrw.org/news/2009/07/15/davao-citizens-should-reject-death-squad-killings].

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