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    Philippine presidential race front-runner Davao city mayor Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his final campaign rally in Manila, Philippines on Saturday, May 7, 2016.

    'The Punisher': New Filipino President Vows to Revive Death Penalty

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    Asia & Pacific
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    The soon-to-be president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte, whom media often compare to Donald Trump because of his harsh rhetoric, pledged to reinstate the death penalty and grant police permission to fire for effect in a proposed move to battle criminality.

    The comments were made by the 71-year-old politician during a press conference on Sunday.

    "What I will do is to urge Congress to restore death penalty by hanging," Duterte said of capital punishment that was abolished in the Philippines in 2006.

    He also pledged to expand powers of the police, allowing them to shoot to death anyone who would resist arrest.

    “If you resist, show violent resistance, my order to police [will be] to shoot to kill. Shoot to kill for organized crime. You heard that? Shoot to kill for every organized crime.”

    Before running for president Durerte had served as a mayor of the country’s southern town of Davao. Under his patronage, local police killed over a thousand criminals there. At the time, locals nicknamed him "the punisher” and Human Rights Watch labeled him "death squad mayor."

    Durerte’s problem-solution approach along with his populist rhetoric provided him with a crushing victory in the presidential run.

    While campaigning, he made a series of odious statements, including a promise to kill all the drug dealers and dump their bodies in Manila Bay, ban alcohol and cigarettes for children, as well as to make a hospital out of the presidential palace.

    Durerte has also caused some stir overseas when called Pope Francis ‘son of a whore,’ after the Pontiff’s visit to the country resulted in traffic gridlocks.


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