Philippine ‘hitman’ charge sparks Duterte probe calls

(From AFP)

The Philippines faced calls Friday to investigate its firebrand president after a self-confessed hitman alleged Rodrigo Duterte ordered a thousand opponents and suspected criminals murdered when he was a city mayor.

President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing anniversary at the villamor air base in Pasay city, metro Ma

President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while delivering a speech during the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing anniversary at the Villamor air base in Pasay city, metro Manila, Philippines September 13, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

The hitman told a Senate inquiry on Thursday that he and a group of policemen killed some 1,000 people in Davao city on Duterte’s orders from 1988-2013, with the politician himself shooting dead one of the victims.

“These are serious allegations and we take them seriously, we look into them,” said US State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner.

Critics say the alleged killings in Davao, where Duterte was mayor for more than 20 years, established a pattern that has spread nationwide under the new presidency. Read More



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