Malacañang on Sunday said it will look into "leaked information" that President Rodrigo R. Duterte knew and permitted vigilante killings in Davao during his term as mayor of the city.
"We will look into it first," Communications Secretary Martin M. Andanar said in a text message.
"Commission on Human Rights Regional Director Alberto Sipaco (strictly protect) at a private meeting affirmed that Mayor Duterte knows about the killings and permits them," read cable 09MANILA1002_a, one of the diplomatic cables released on the internet by self-described "multi-national media organization and associated library" WikiLeaks.
"Recounting a conversation he once had with Duterte, who is his close friend and former fraternity brother, Sipaco said he pleaded with the Mayor to stop vigilante killings and support other methods to reduce crime, like rehabilitation
programs for offenders," it added.
Dated May 8, 2009, the cable was supposedly classified by then-United States Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney.
The cable noted that Sipaco "repeatedly attempted to reason with Duterte that the killings were unlawful and detrimental to society, but Duterte refused to broach the issue."
"According to Sipaco, the Mayor responded, 'I'm not done yet'," it read.
Sipaco also reportedly attributed Duterte's rage against criminality and drugs to family history, in that one his sons allegedly previously abused drugs.
"[T]he Mayor channeled his anger over his son's drug use not just against drug pushers, but also drug users, eventually leading him to embrace vigilante killings as a means to reduce crime," the cable read.
Duterte during his campaign as President, claimed he would end crime and corruption in the country within three to six months with the help of the police and the military.
Last weekend, however, he said that he needs an extension of another six months to solve crime and drugs in the Philippines. — BM, GMA News