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Andanar: ‘Duterte didn’t say he personally killed criminals’

Presidential Communications Office head Secretary Martin Andanar has clarified President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement of “personally” killing criminals, saying that the then-Davao City mayor did not say anything like that and he was only defending himself when an encounter occurred.

“I reviewed the tape. He didn’t say he personally killed. He said he goes around looking for an encounter,” Andanar was quoted as saying in an Unang Balita report by GMA News’ Jam Sisante on Friday.

“Kung may encounter, if you are mayor, based on our laws, if your life is in danger you can defend yourself,” Andanar added.

When he was still mayor of Davao City, Duterte admitted that he led by example to the police and joined them in operations to "personally" kill criminals.

“In Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the guys that, if I can do it, why can’t you? And I go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around and I would just patrol the streets and looking for trouble also. Talagang naghanap ako ng engkwentro para makapatay," Duterte said in a speech during the Wallace Business Forum in Malacañang on Monday.

In his state visit in Cambodia, Duterte also said he might have shot a criminal.

“Ako mismo sumama minsan. Kung sabihin mo may binaril ako, baka. Pero nakapikit ako kasi takot ako magpaputok, ganun lang,” Duterte said in a meeting with Filcom in Cambodia.

Statements like this, Andanar said, should not be taken literally, as it was only his way of instilling fear in the minds of criminals.

“You know very well the President, ‘pag nagsasalita matapang. Since he was mayor he speaks like that but hindi lahat should be taken literally,” Andanar said.

“That’s the style of the President, to instill fear in the minds of criminals,” he added.

Duterte is currently in Singapore for a state visit. —Erwin Colcol/KG, GMA News