Duterte announces ‘dead or alive’ police bounties

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Philippine Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. AFP

MANILA (AFP) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday announced “dead or alive” bounties worth $40,000 each for policemen he accused of helping an accused narco-politician, and said he prefered they be killed.

The call for police officers to kill their colleagues is the latest inflammatory comment by Mr Duterte in his controversial drug war, which has claimed thousands of lives, and comes shortly after a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Mr Duterte made the offer during a speech at national police headquarters, offering two million pesos ($40,000) for an unspecified number of officers who allegedly helped a mayor killed in an anti-drug operation in July.

“Each of those policemen carry on their heads now, I am announcing, two million per head and you are free to go on leave [to pursue them],” Mr Duterte said. “I’ll cut short my speech so that you will have a chance for a crack at the two million for those idiots.”

He added the bounty would be paid if the policemen were found “dead or alive – better dead”.

He said the unidentified policemen had worked with Reynaldo Parojinog, the mayor of Ozamiz, who was killed in the pre-dawn raid along with his wife, his brother and 13 other people.

Police said they were forced to kill the 16 people in self-defence, but Parojinog’s lawyer insists the mayor and others had not resisted. Mr Duterte had accused Parojinog of being a major drug trafficker.

Mr Duterte also vowed to give legal protection to the policemen who killed Parojinog and the others.

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