Philippines president says he killed three people as mayor
THE President of the Philippines says he gunned down three people while serving as the mayor of Davao City.
Rodrego Duterte told reporters in Manila on Friday he killed the people, believed to be suspects in a crime, to make an example for police officers.
His comments built on a private speech delivered to business executives where he admitted to personally killing people.
According to the New York Times, Duterte told reporters he would patrol the streets looking for trouble.
"I was really looking for a confrontation, so I could kill," he said.
Since taking power, Duterte's anti-drug campaign has allowed for the execution of more than 3000 people.
Suspected drug users and dealers have been gunned down in the street, often without proof they had committed a crime.
Duterte's admission gained attention in Australia earlier this week after right-wing federal MP George Christensen praised his actions.
In a post on his official Facebook page, Christensen shared a news story on Duterte's speech admitting to killing suspected criminals.
"A leader who personally sees off drug dealers?" Christensen said.
"And the problem is?"
The post prompted backlash across Australia.
Christensen later shared a lengthy clarification where he said Duterte was lying about his claims he killed people.
"He's just blustering to look macho," Christensen said.
He praised the country's hard stance on drugs and called for Australia to "step up the fight" against its own drug use.
"I don't advocated (sic) for armed politicians shooting drug traffickers in the street but I would love to see a round up of all known and suspected traffickers and producers and some serious questioning and interrogation by police," he said.
On Friday afternoon, Christensen again shared comments on the Philippines drug war on social media.
"As the re-appointed chair of the Australia-Philippines Parliamentary Network, I've taken some time out of the electorate - at my own cost - to further diplomatic relations between Australia and our good friends in the Philippines," he said.
"Joined by our wonderful Ambassador Amanda Gorely, I was able to have a great yarn with House of Representatives Speaker "Bebot" Alvarez in the Philippines Congress."
"We talked principally about President Duterte's war on drugs. We in the West can sit back and attack the Philippines for its hardline approach to drugs, but I think our approach has actually let down the victims of drug crime - that is, those who are addicted to the stuff and their families. Instead of sneering, perhaps we could learn a thing or two from the Philippines experience. Speaker Alvarez tells me their overall crime rates in Metro Manila are down some 50%!"
Christensen said he also met with House National Defence & Security Committee chairman Amado Espino to talk terrorism in the region.