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Philippine’s President Rodrigo Duterte Asks: ‘What If There’s No God?’

Image: President Rodrigo Duterte

Philippine‘s president Rodrigo Duterte has taken crime and violence to the doorsteps of drug dealers since he kick-started a campaign to clean up the country, leaving over 3,500 corpses behind his trail. 

The controversial president recently made it clear that he wants the death penalty to be restored in the Philippines.

Duterte’s bizarre request is coming in the aftermath of a wide criticisms from the international community against his blood-thirsty government, an issue that warranted his vulgar outburst against the U.S. President Barack Obama before the G20 Summit held in Hangzhou, China.

The notoriously foul-mouthed president sounded out a warning to Obama, telling him that any question about extrajudicial killings would be unwise, or “son of a bitch I will swear at you”.

In his words: “I am a president of a sovereign state and we have long ceased to be a colony. I do not have any master except the Filipino people, nobody but nobody. You must be respectful. Do not just throw questions. Putang ina [son of a bitch] I will swear at you in that forum,” he said, before a scheduled presidential meeting in Laos during G20’s regional summit.

Last week, the controversial president sent a message to the United Nations (UN) in his public speech, asking the world body to invite him for trials on an alleged human rights violation.

“I have invited the (United Nations human rights) rapporteur, (UN chief) Ban Ki-moon, the EU, their lawyers to come here and investigate me,” Duterte said in a speech, adding the formal invitations would be sent soon.

“But… after they question me, I will question them, one by one in open forum… then you will all see how I will beat those devils.”

Image shows Philippine’s president Rodrigo Duterte.

Reports confirmed last month that a UN human rights investigator asked to be allowed to visit the Philippines in order to assess cases of possible human rights abuses but Duterte’s government was quick to reject her proposal.

In the heat of the moment, an angry Duterte threatened his country will withdraw its membership from the UN though he later said that was a “joke.”

Duterte, 71, claims the capital punishment lost its effectiveness in the country because same was not fully implemented by past leaders, Aljazeera reported.

Talking in a voice filled with regrets for a misused opportunity, the Philippine’s president told reporters on Monday that past presidents gave in to religion instead of morality.

In his explanations, the country’s past presidents succumbed to pressures from the Catholic church and other “bleeding hearts” who argued against capital punishment “because only God can kill”.

Duterte granted the press conference at the presidential villa in Manila.

He asked reporters: “The problem with that is, I ask you, ‘What if there is no God?’

“When a one-year-old, an 18-month-old baby is taken from the mother’s arms, brought under a Jeep and raped, and killed, where is God,” he asked.

“People in the Philippines no longer believe in the laws, because the fear is not there,” Duterte, who enjoys mixing Filipino and English in public speeches, said.

“That is why I said, give me back the death penalty.”

Image: President Rodrigo Duterte

Last Friday, Duterte granted a speech to a team of police officers. He spoke about the fight against illegal drug pushers and narcotics dealers, making similar reference to the rules of engagement in dealing with suspected drug criminals.

“Maybe God doesn’t want all these killings. But never mind, God is not my enemy. I’ll talk to him when I get there,” he said, arousing laughter from the audience full of police officers.

“I’ll ask him, ‘If you are really God, you didn’t do anything, and the Filipinos are going crazy'” with illegal drugs “by the millions”, he said.

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