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Duterte to critics: ‘I am willing to rot in jail for the Filipino’

As international concern over the increasing number of deaths in the government's war on drugs grows, President Rodrigo R. Duterte over the weekend told critics to stop "threatening" him.

"Sabi ko nga, I am willing to rot in jail for the Filipino. Do not keep on threatening or intimidating me," he said before the Filipino community in Brunei late Sunday, as part of his three-day state visit in the country.

This comes after the European Parliament, the US government, and the United Nations, among others, expressed concern over the rising death toll of Duterte's drug war.

Duterte on Sunday maintained that the "extrajudicial killings" adding to the number of fatalities were not ordered by the state.

"Wag tayo magbolahan... 'Yung iba talaga diyang pinatay, na-salvage... Pero kung sinabi mong state-ordered killing... kalokohan," he said.

He also stressed anew that there are no laws that prevent him from threatening criminals.

"Kaya ako nagmumura, kasi napakabobo naman nila [human rights advocates]... Di ako galit sa kanila but I am totally exasperated na 'di nila alam ang batas. It is not a crime to say I hate criminals," he said.

Latest data available from the Philippine National Police (PNP) shows that as of October 15, a total of 1,645 individuals have been killed under the government's Double Barrel Program, while some 29,331 others have been arrested.

Among the authorities, a total of 16 casualties have been reported: 13 police officers and three from the Armed Forces. — Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/BM, GMA News