(CNN)Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to kill dozens of Philippines National Police (PNP) officers who are under investigation for crimes in an expletive-laden rant targeting criminality in the force.
After hauling 102 officers to the Malacañang — the Philippines Presidential Palace — Tuesday, the firebrand leader unloaded on them, calling them “useless… (and) a menace to society,” CNN affiliate CNN Philippines reported. Many of the officers presented to Duterte are under investigation for serious crimes including rape, kidnapping, extortion and involvement in the drug trade. Others are accused of administrative lapses, like being absent without leave and failing to appear for court duties.Duterte warned the officers that if they continued their criminal acts, he’d have them killed. “Like what you do, it’s easy to kill a person. Just follow him, fire at his back, then walk away calmly,” he said, according to CNN Philippines’ translation. Read MoreThe over-the-top threats are in keeping with the president’s hyperbolic style. Over a year ago Duterte called for a total overhaul of the force in the wake of the alleged brutal killing of a South Korean businessman by corrupt police officials.”Cleanse your ranks. Review their cases. Give me a list of who the scalawags are,” Duterte said.He extended the purge at the beginning of 2018, according to CNN Philippines, ordering the ranks be cleared of “graft and corruption.” JUST WATCHEDSee $5.5M worth of luxury vehicles get crushedReplayMore Videos …MUST WATCH
See $5.5M worth of luxury vehicles get crushed 01:34Fulfilling election promises Duterte came to power in June 2016 after a resounding election victory based on a promise to rid the government of corruption and the country of drugs.He wasted no time in issuing orders to police officers to round up suspected drug dealers. Thousands of alleged offenders were subsequently killed by cops and vigilantes in a purge that drew international condemnation.Soon after launching the operation, Duterte said,“If we can only kill 32 every day, maybe we can fix what ails this country,” according to a translation by CNN affiliate CNN Philippines.In March, the president ordered his police officers not to cooperate with United Nations human rights investigators and offered a crass warning to those conducting the probe.”You’re investigating us? Fact finding? Sorry, do not f*** with me,” Duterte said Thursday, at an event before police officers and members of the military in his hometown of Davao City.”Who are you to interfere in the way I would run my country? You know very well that we are being swallowed by drugs.” Photos: Rodrigo Duterte has said some outrageous things.Speaking at a business forum in Manila in December 2016, Duterte admitted killing suspected criminals during his time as mayor of Davao City.Hide Caption 1 of 17 Photos: Rodrigo Duterte has said some outrageous things.The day after Trump won the US presidential election in November 2016, Duterte said he and Trump share some traits.Hide Caption 2 of 17 Photos: Rodrigo Duterte has said some outrageous things.After reports emerged of a potentially blocked arms sale, Duterte told CNN Philippines in November 2016 that he would turn to Russia for weapons.Hide Caption 3 of 17 Photos: Rodrigo Duterte has said some outrageous things.During a state visit to China in October 2016, Duterte announced his economic and military ‘separation’ from the US.Hide Caption 4 of 17 Photos: Rodrigo Duterte has said some outrageous things.In October 2016 Duterte expressed growing hostility with the US president.Hide Caption 5 of 17 Photos: Rodrigo Duterte has said some outrageous things.After US president Barack Obama said he would raise extrajudicial killings in a meeting with Duterte, the Philippines President responded angrily on September 5, first in English then in Tagalog. As a result, Obama canceled the meeting.Hide Caption 6 of 17 Photos: Rodrigo Duterte has said some outrageous things.As he addressed troops at the country’s Armed Forces Central Command Headquarters on August 5, Duterte recounted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to the country, saying in Tagalog that he was feuding with U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg.Hide Caption 7 of 17 Photos: Rodrigo Duterte has said some outrageous things.The Philippines president-elect effectively said he supported vigilantism against drug dealers and criminals in a nationally televised speech in June 2016.Hide Caption 8 of 17 Photos: Rodrigo Duterte has said some outrageous things.Foreign diplomats weighing in on Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial remarks did not sit well with the then-mayor. Hide Caption 9 of 17 Photos: Rodrigo Duterte has said some outrageous things.Duterte apologized to the Pope after cursing him for the traffic he caused during a 2015 Papal visit to the Philippines. Hide Caption 10 of 17 Photos: Rodrigo Duterte has said some outrageous things.In September 2016, Duterte likened himself to the Nazi leader and announced that he wants to kill millions of drug addicts. Hide Caption 11 of 17 Photos: Rodrigo Duterte has said some outrageous things.Speaking at a press conference to unveil his new cabinet on May 31 2016, Rodrigo Duterte said journalists killed on the job in the Philippines were often corrupt.Hide Caption 12 of 17 Photos: Rodrigo Duterte has said some outrageous things.During the third and last presidential debate, Duterte had said that he would plant a Philippine flag in disputed territories should China refuse to recognize a favorable ruling for the Philippines.Hide Caption 13 of 17 Photos: Rodrigo Duterte has said some outrageous things.Duterte made international headlines in April 2016 with his inflammatory comments on the 1989 rape and murder of an Australian missionary that took place in Davao City.Hide Caption 14 of 17 Photos: Rodrigo Duterte has said some outrageous things.He also lashed out at the womens’ group that filed a complaint against him before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).Hide Caption 15 of 17 Photos: Rodrigo Duterte has said some outrageous things.At a CNN Philippines Townhall event in February 2016, Duterte, admitted that he had three girlfriends and a common-law wife. His marriage to Elizabeth Zimmerman was annulled due to his womanizing, but he denied this meant he objectified women. Hide Caption 16 of 17 Photos: Rodrigo Duterte has said some outrageous things.Although he later denied the accusations, the former Davao City mayor admitted his links to the alleged Davao death squad in a May 2015 broadcast of his local television talk show. Hide Caption 17 of 17Dressing down In his rant to police officers Tuesday, Duterte threatened that the media would only cover their killings briefly, then forget about them. “It’s just one newspaper article, one instance of shouting,” he said. “The noise on TV, that’s just two, three days then it’s over. It’s only that. Media? They only go so far. Publication, a headline then nothing. You’re history.”He added that he wouldn’t let “due process” or human rights get in the way of punishing the accused dirty cops. “If these bastards die, don’t come running to us shouting ‘human rights, human rights, due process.’ I’ve been warning you.” Fuming, he said that the appearance of other officials was the only thing preventing him from striking the accused officers. “You animals, why are you here? You are like… bastards looking like dogs. You know, it’s a good thing there are a lot of people here, there are officials present — or else, I would be hitting you.”Duterte said that he had commissioned an official task force to investigate dirty cops, particularly those involved in the drug trade, a statement from the Philippines Presidential Communication team reported. He added that he didn’t understand how rogue elements had entered the police, an institution created to serve the public. He then left the accused — some of whom, like the three Taguig City police officers accused of running a kidnapping ring, in cuffs — to stand in misery outside the palace while he conducted a four-hour, joint PNP-Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) press conference. “Stay there and starve,” he shouted at the cowed officers as he left them.