Philippine police on Thursday said it discovered offers promising a million dollars to whoever kills the country’s President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, who has declared a war on criminals and drug dealers.
In an interview with state-broadcaster GMA, the soon-to-be Philippine police chief, Ronald Dela Rosa said a 50-million pesos (over $1 million) bounty has been offered for killing him or Duterte. He did not reveal details of who might be behind these offers, EFE news reported.
Dela Rosa, set to become police chief after Duterte is sworn in on June 30, said around $217,000 was offered initially as bounty but as there were no takers, the amount was raised.
Dela Rosa’s statements come after Duterte, who has vowed to wipe out crime and drugs from the Philippines in under six months, also announced significant financial rewards on several occasions for citizens who kill drug lords.
At a party held in his honour Wednesday in the city of Cebu, Duterte said he would pay 5 million pesos (around $108,000) to the person who kills the most noted drug traffickers in the region.
“I plead for you to stop f***ing this country and we will be alright,” he warned drug dealers.
Recent months have seen Duterte’s popularity skyrocket in the Philippines, due to his tough-talking against crime and drugs, two of the principal problems affecting the country.
On May 9, he emerged triumphant in the presidential elections, winning a majority 39 per cent vote as compared to the other candidates.
However, he has also been criticised by human rights organisations, who accuse him of inciting violence by advocating extra-judicial killings of thieves or drug peddlers to reduce crime rates.