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Trabaho lang: Duterte justifies collateral damage in drug war

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President Rodrigo Duterte urged the public Wednesday (Jan. 25) “not to cry too much” for people who become collateral damage in his administration’s war on drugs because the police are just doing their duty.

In a speech in Tacloban City, Duterte acknowledged that civilians do get killed when policemen are conducting operations against drug suspects because “bullets cannot be controlled.”

“Sabihin ko sa inyo ito, ‘pag ang pulis kung nasa trabaho, in the performance of duty, nagpapatrol, kapag nagkabarilan iyan sa kriminal, at iyong bala niya tumagos doon sa limang tao, bayad ang gobyerno – civil liability, kasi trabaho eh. Hindi mo makontrol ang bala,” he said.

Duterte added that while a criminal could be held liable for shooting civilians, cops aren’t since they are just doing their jobs.

“Kaya huwag kayong masyadong iiyak, namatay ang bata… eh so? Sino ba namang gagong pulis papatay ng bata? Eh kung pulis na ganoon, adik rin,” he said.

Human rights groups estimate more than 6,000 people have been killed since Duterte assumed office at the end of June last year as the administration cracks down on illegal drugs.