- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte has a message for “son of a b–h” journalists: Assassination attempts may be forthcoming.

Mr. Duterte secured 40 percent of 44 million votes in a May 9 election after promising to get tough on crime and ignite the nation’s economy. A joint session of Congress declared the 71-year-old Davao City mayor the winner on Monday.

“Just because you’re a journalist you are not exempted from assassination if you’re a son of a b–h,” Mr. Duterte said on Tuesday from Davao while announcing his cabinet, Agence France Press reported. He made the remark after a reporter asked him about the Philippines’ ongoing problem with media killings.

“Most of those killed, to be frank, have done something. You won’t be killed if you don’t do anything wrong,” Duterteadded. “The constitution can no longer help you if you disrespect a person.”

Critics of the president-elect worry that vigilante killings in Davao, which he denied ordering, will soon begin on a large scale. He will officially replace Benigno Aquino and become the 16th president of the Philippines on June 30.

Mr. Duterte also plans on offering $21,000 bounties to law enforcement personnel who kill drug lords. The scale will be adjusted depending on the suspect’s hierarchy within an organization.

“I will call the private from the army and say: ‘Shoot him,’” Mr. Duterte said, AFP reported.

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