Phillipines’ president Duterte underfire for cable reporting that he “admitted complicity” to a series of murders

CHIEF EXECUTIVE. President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a message during his visit to the Police Regional Office-12 Headquarters in General Santos City on September 23, 2016. File photo by Karl Norman Alonzo/PPD

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte dared Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday, September 20, to prove that he was behind extrajudicial killings in Davao City when he was the mayor there.

A confidential cable dated May 8, 2009, which was published by WikiLeaks, said that Duterte once “admitted complicity” in vigilante killings in Davao City.

The cable, written by then-US ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney, quoted statements from then Commission on Human Rights (CHR) regional director Alberto Sipaco Jr ….

Kenney wrote: “Commission on Human Rights regional director Alberto Sipaco (strictly protect) at a private meeting affirmed that Mayor Duterte knows about the killings and permits them. Recounting a conversation he once had with Duterte, who is his close friend and former fraternity brother, Sipaco said he pleaded with the Mayor to stop vigilante killings and support other methods to reduce crime, like rehabilitation programs for offenders.”

“According to Sipaco, the Mayor now President  responded, ‘I’m not done yet,'” Kenney said.
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