Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has acknowledged that extrajudicial killings occurred during his government, for the first time.
Duterte said that his "only sin is the extrajudicial killings," without elaborating on what he meant, during a speech to government officials Thursday at the presidential palace. Up until now, Phillippines authorities have consistently denied summary executions and stated that people who have been killed were suspected of drug trafficking and resisted arrest.
Duterte leads a brutal war on drugs that has left a death toll of 4,800 people suspected of consumption and trafficking of drugs, EFE reported.
The United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnes Callamard, called the remarks an "extraordinary statement by a head of state." Agnes condemned the revelation by Durterte and said that it actually meant: "Translation: my only sin is imposing unthinkable sufferings on 1000s of vulnerable families, emboldening corrupt policing, destroying rule of law."
This is not the first time that Duterte has made similarly controversial or alarming statements.
In February, in reference to numerous female rebels, Duterte said: "We won't kill you, we'll just shoot your vagina."