Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has said that innocent people and children killed by police and death squads are just ‘collateral damage’ – and an inevitable part of his ‘war on drugs’.
In an interview with al-Jazeera, Duterte said, ‘When you bomb a village you intend to kill the militants but you kill the children there … Why do you say it is collateral damage to the west and to us it is murder?’
Duterte said that casualties were inevitable because the police used automatic weapons.
He said, ‘With the policeman and the M16, it’s one burst, brrr, and he hits 1,000 people there and they die. It could not be negligence because you have to save your life. It could not be recklessness because you have to defend yourself.
Duterte’s crackdown on drugs has resulted in more than 3,800 deaths since he came to power on June 30.
The high toll and mysterious circumstances of many killings have alarmed the US and the UN.