On Saturday night President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte gave a speech in which he encouraged anyone with a gun to go and attack drug dealers and other criminals who resist arrest:
“Please feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have the gun – you have my support,” Duterte said, warning of an extensive illegal drug trade that involves even the country’s police. If a drug dealer resists arrest or refuses to be brought to a police station and threatens a citizen with a gun or a knife, “you can kill him,” Duterte said. “Shoot him and I’ll give you a medal.”
This immensely troubling news can only serve to strengthen the “Culture of Death.”
In one speech the new president has handed over the power of the courts to anybody with a gun. Where will it go from there? If the drug trade includes police officers, then how long until the citizenry forms militias and begins to target the police? It may not be long until the Philippines devolves into anarchy.
Aside from the pressing worldly concerns, this is also poison to the spirit of the Filipino people. People who fall from grace deserve the opportunity to atone for their sins and find salvation through Jesus Christ. No one is beyond redemption, but this policy may teach the next generation that this is untrue and that vigilantism is a source of justice.
We ask that you join us in prayer for the Filipino people in this time of strife: