'I Will Whack You:' Duterte Links 150 Officials to Drugs
Latest salvo in Philippine president's war on 'pandemic'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 7, 2016 8:03 AM CDT
In this July 25, 2016 file photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his first State of the Nation Address before the joint session of the 17th Congress in suburban Quezon city, northeast of...   (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)

(Newser) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte publicly linked more than 150 judges, mayors, lawmakers, police, and military personnel to illegal drugs Sunday, ordering them to surrender for investigation as he ratcheted up his bloody war against what he calls a "pandemic." Duterte promptly relieved members of the military and police he named from their current posts and ordered government security personnel to be withdrawn from politicians he identified in a nationally televised speech. He also ordered gun licenses of those named revoked. "All military and police who are attached to these people, I'm giving you 24 hours to report to your mother unit or I will whack you. I'll dismiss you from the service," Duterte said, per the AP.

He said that the list of politicians, judges, and law enforcers given to him by the military and police might or might not be true, but that he had a duty to disclose to the public how the drug problem had become so pervasive. "There is no due process in my mouth," Duterte said. "You can't stop me and I'm not afraid even if you say that I can end up in jail." The list, which Duterte said included some friends, has been validated by authorities but did not contain details of the officials' alleged involvement to the drug trade or offer any evidence. "It's a pandemic," said Duterte. Duterte's war on drugs has already left more than 400 suspected dealers and pushers dead and more than 4,400 arrested in more than a month since he took office. The crackdown has been one of the biggest and bloodiest in the Philippines' history and has alarmed human rights groups and the Roman Catholic Church.