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    May 17, 2016

    Duterte vows to hang criminals and reinstate death penalty


    PHILIPPINE president-elect Rodrigo Duterte yesterday vowed he would hang all heinous criminals, a day after telling his first post-election media conference that he would reinstate the death penalty and deploy "shoot-to-kill" teams to mow down lawbreakers who resist arrest.

    "I will lead Congress to restore death penalty," he said in Davao city yesterday, which he still governs as mayor until he is sworn in as president on June 30, reported the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

    He swore that drug offenders, as well as thieves, kidnappers and rapists who murder their victims or use unlicensed firearms in their crimes, must be punished with death.

    "Robbery with homicide with rape, double the hanging. After the first, there will be another ceremony for the second," Mr Duterte added.

    He said he "would like" to see the heads of those involved in aggravated crimes "completely severed" from their bodies.

    Mr Duterte - who proclaimed that he would wipe out criminals off the country's streets in his first 100 days in office - told the media he preferred hanging to the firing squad as he did not want to waste bullets.

    Philippines' 1987 Constitution restored the death penalty for heinous crimes but it was repealed in 2006 under then President Gloria Arroyo.

    Earlier on Sunday, the tough-talking Mr Duterte said he would give the government security forces "shoot-to kill" power against those who resist arrest violently, the Manila Times reported.

    He would also order the arrest of parents whose children are found wandering on the streets beyond a 10pm curfew, which he said he would impose nationwide on unescorted minors.

    Also, police would arrest people who drink alcoholic beverages in public places.

    "Those who will destroy the lives of the children will be destroyed, those who will kill my country will be killed," he added.

    When asked during his election campaign why he was hell-bent on wiping out criminals, Mr Duterte explained: "We have a society now where obedience to the law is really a choice, an option only."

    "I'm just a public servant. I don't want you bowing down to me. I prefer being unnoticed," the Sun.Star Davao news website quoted him as saying yesterday in dismissing warnings that he is a dictator in the making.