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Palace cautions Duterte on threats

May 28, 2015 ·  By Jelly F. Musico, Philippine News Agency for

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. (Photo: Philippine News Agency)

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. (Photo: Philippine News Agency)

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Tuesday reminded Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte that due process and rule of law should still prevail in prosecuting criminals.

Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. made this comment after Duterte reportedly said he might kill at least 100,000 criminals if he becomes president.

Duterte also admitted his links with vigilante group Davao Death Squad (DDS).

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Monday said Duterte could be held criminally liable over his reported admission of his ties to the DDS that human rights groups blame for the deaths of some 1,000 crime suspects in Davao City since he became mayor in 1988.

“Under our justice system, we have due process. It should be evidence-based and not only words. We should not judge based on words only,” Coloma said in a press briefing.

Coloma said Malacanang will leave the decision to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to act on Duterte’s admission about his links with DDS.

“We will leave that to them (DOJ and CHR). Our justice system is based on evidence and we follow due process of law,” Coloma said.

He said Duterte, being a public official, should be the first to follow the rule of law in going after the criminals.

Duterte is tied with Interior Secretary Mar Roxas in the recent presidential preference surveys.

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