UCA News


Duterte explains 'shoot them dead' order

Philippine president says his comments reflected 'standard procedure' for those resisting warrantless arrests

Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Duterte explains 'shoot them dead' order

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he has never ordered the police or military to kill anyone during the enhanced community quarantine introduced because of the coronavirus. (Photo: Ted Aljibe/AFP)

Share this article :
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has lashed out at left-wing groups who allegedly misrepresented his order to shoot quarantine violators if necessary.

He said he was constrained to talk to the public because of “so many issues and questions being asked from the government.”

He clarified that he had never ordered the police or military to kill anyone out of caprice. He only said what is already stated in law as “standard procedure” for a warrantless arrest.

“The police should overcome the force or resistance being shown by the person being arrested. So, if the one being arrested continuously and repeatedly fights or resists police authorities, the authorities should overcome this resistance,” Duterte said on public television on April 3.

“This is what I meant. If you put the arresting officer’s life at risk, he can overcome your resistance and may fire at you.”

The president also claimed that there will be a lot of arrests and complaints in the coming days, naming Chel Diokno as one of the “lousy lawyers” who he accused of encouraging people to violate quarantine rules.

Diokno is a human rights lawyer and former dean of one of the country’s top law schools. He is also the son of former nationalist lawyer and Marcos activist Jose W. “Pepe” Diokno.

Duterte accused Diokno of supporting illegal public gatherings against the government during enhanced community quarantine imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

He also claimed that his order is in accordance with the United Nations’ human rights standards, but human rights experts are not convinced.

“The standards on use of excessive or lethal force are clear: if you have to shoot, do it to immobilize, not to kill,” said Anthony Custodia, a human rights lawyer.

Custodia quoted UN guidelines saying that the exercise of restraint must be “in proportion to the seriousness of the offense and the legitimate objective to be achieved.”

He also reminded the government that authorities have a duty to minimize damage and injury and to respect and preserve human rights.

Meanwhile, Sorsogon Diocese is calling for flour donations in support of its feeding project during Covid-19 outbreak. Bishop Jose Alan Dialogo baked bread for the poor this week, earning public praise and support.

As of April 3, the Philippines had recorded 3,018 Covid-19 cases with 136 deaths, according to government figures.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
Support UCA News

William J. Grimm, MM


Union of Catholic Asian News

"As Pope Francis has said, we live not so much in an era of change as in a change of era. That is especially true in Asia and for the churches of Asia. UCA News is the dedicated, Asia-wide news and information service for the Church in Asia and we need your help to maintain the service."