Sunday, August 21, 2016
NYTimes | Mr. Duterte has not commented on the case, which has been widely reported in the local news media. In a speech on Wednesday, he said that the police should not use excessive force, but he showed no sign of backing down from his call to kill drug suspects.
“The fight against drugs will continue unrelenting until we have destroyed the apparatus operating in the entire country,” he said.
Senator Leila de Lima, the former Philippine secretary of justice, called the killing a “summary execution” and said the evidence was so clear-cut that the authorities had “no choice” but to bring charges.
The case is one of several expected to be the focus of potentially explosive hearings next week before the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which Ms. de Lima oversees.
Mr. Duterte lashed out at Ms. de Lima in his speech on Wednesday, accusing her, without providing evidence, of having an affair with her married driver, who he said collected drug payoffs for her.
Ms. de Lima called the accusation “foul” and added, “If this is his way of stopping the Senate’s investigation on the extrajudicial killings, he can try,” but she insisted that she would not call off the hearings.
Although the killings have dispensed with what Mr. Duterte has called “the rigmarole” of due process, his drug war has proved wildly popular in a country plagued by crime.
The blunt-spoken Mr. Duterte made his name as the mayor of Davao City, where vigilante killings starting in the 1980s are credited with helping reduce crime and making it one of the country’s safest places.
Since Mr. Duterte has taken his campaign nationwide, more than 600,000 drug dealers and users have turned themselves in to avoid being killed, the authorities say. The result, they say, has been a visible reduction in drug use and petty crime.