Duterte says he has killed someone at 16
DANANG, VIETNAM: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said that he stabbed a person to death as a teenager, in a defiant speech to promote his drug war ahead of a summit of world leaders in Manila.
Speaking to the local Filipino community in the Vietnamese city of Danang on Thursday, r Duterte threatened to slap a United Nations rights rapporteur if he met her and used obscene language to hit back at critics of his deadly drug crackdown.
"When I was a teenager, I would go in and out of jail. I would have rumbles here, rumbles there," said Mr Duterte, who is in Danang for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
"At the age of 16, I already killed someone. A real person, a rumble, a stabbing. I was just 16 years old. It was just over a look.
"How much more now that I am president?"
Esquire magazine quoted Mr Duterte as saying in an interview before he became president that he "maybe" stabbed someone to death when he was 17, in what may be a reference to this incident described in Danang.
Mr Duterte's aides have repeatedly told journalists not to believe everything the president says, cautioning that he often jokes or indulges in "hyperbole".
His new spokesman, Mr Harry Roque, indicated that may be the case with his stab-to-death claim.
"I think it was in jest. The (President) uses colourful language when (with Filipinos) overseas," Mr Roque said in a text message.
On the UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Ms Agnes Callamard, who has been a frequent critic of the drug war, Mr Duterte said: "This rapporteur, I will slap her in front of you. Why? Because you are insulting me." - AFP