Philippines President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte, which some have dubbed the "Donald Trump of the East," is making headlines again with more controversial comments, this time elaborating on his promise to be tougher on crime.
On Sunday, Duterte vowed that as president, he will bring back capital punishment, which was abolished in the Philippines in 2006. He also said he'd give police in the country "shoot-to-kill" orders when combating organized crime or dealing with criminals resisting arrest, according to Business Insider.
"What I will do is to urge Congress to restore death penalty by hanging," Duterte told reporters in a press conference. “If you resist, show violent resistance, my order to police [will be] to shoot to kill. Shoot to kill for organized crime. You heard that? Shoot to kill for every organized crime,” he added.
Duterte largely built his campaign on a pledge to curb crime in his country. On the campaign trail, Duterte repeatedly promised to resort to violent means, if necessary, to enforce the rule of law.
“We have a society now where obedience to the law is really a choice, an option only,” he said in April. “Do not destroy my country, because I will kill you. I will kill you. No middle ground. As long as the requirements of the law are there, if you try to evade arrest, refuse arrest and you put up a good fight or resist violently, I will say: ‘Kill them’.”
Part of that strategy now appears to include killing criminals after they have been arrested, as well. Duterte promised Sunday to reinstitute the death penalty. The Philippines abolished capital punishment in 1987, brought it back in 1993 and then abolished it again in 2006.
Duterte's tough talk and politically incorrect rhetoric has earned him comparisons to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Like Trump, Duterte's campaign has been littered with crude jokes — including a particularly unsavory rape joke — cursing, controversial policy proposals and an embracing of his standing as a political outsider. Also like Trump, Duterte has promised to act more presidential upon taking office. "I'll behave," he told the press.
Sunday was Duterte's first press conference since winning the May presidential election.