PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is ready to face the firing squad for his controversial anti-illegal drug drive, which raised an uproar among human rights activists inside and outside the country.
“I said to the world and to the United Nations and to everybody, I take responsibility for all of the consequences of this drug war. I and I alone,” Duterte said during the Valdai Conference held in Russia on Thursday (PHL time).
“If you want to shoot me in a firing squad, fine. Our national hero died well before a firing squad. That could be an honor for me to be in the same situation,” he added. “But I do not aspire for honor. I do not aspire to be known.”
Philippines’ national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, was executed by firing squad on December 30, 1896 after he was sentenced to death by a Spanish court martial for supposed sedition.
Duterte underscored that he was only doing his duty to protect the Filipino people and the generations to come by fighting illegal drugs.
He also reiterated that he would not face any international court.
“That would be the day. We have courts in my country. The judges are independent. The prosecutors do not talk to me,” he said.
The Philippines officially withdrew from the International Criminal Court last March as the tribunal launched a preliminary probe on the country’s “deadly” drug war.
Activist group Human Rights Watch, on the other hand, said Duterte may still face prosecution by the international court for the alleged crimes he committed while the Philippines was still a member of the ICC.
Over 6,000 drug suspects have been killed in the intensified anti-drugs operations in the country during the Duterte administration, according to the police.