MANILA — President Duterte challenged 228 errant policemen to a gun duel as he showered them with insults and all kinds of expletives when they were presented to him in Malacañang on Tuesday.
The searing mid-afternoon heat was no match for Mr. Duterte’s profanity-laden outburst, which was shown live on national television and various social media platforms.
It was his strongest condemnation yet of irregularities in the Philippine National Police, which came to the fore with the kidnap-slaying of South Korean business executive Jee Ick-joo right inside Camp Crame, the national police headquarters.
“Are you angry at me? Wait until I finish my term as President. Let’s have a gunfight. Leche kayo,” a fuming mad Mr. Duterte told the policemen.
“I will not think twice. You will be the next victims of extrajudicial killings. That’s true,” he warned them in a 13-minute dressing-down.
With their heads bowed, the PNP personnel, including some with bulging stomachs, silently stood in squad formation while their Commander-in-Chief was berating them in front of the media in a virtual shame campaign employed by embattled PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa.
“Don’t dare me to a gunfight (because) I will not back down, you sons of bitches,” Mr. Duterte said in a raised voice. “Wait for me. Six years from now we will see each other again. As I have said, I’m not a weak leader chosen by the rich in Metro Manila. I was voted by the people.”
Dela Rosa, who was assailed by some lawmakers for using the erring policemen for a media stunt, said he presented the PNP personnel to the President as part of the efforts to weed out scalawags from their ranks.
“As I have said, I will do anything to clean the PNP. I don’t care if they will be put to shame. If they are embarrassed, I am more embarrassed because I am the (PNP) chief. It means I’m a bad egg like my subordinates,” Dela Rosa told reporters.
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