President Rodrigo Duterte has defended the death threats he recurrently makes in opposition to criminals, saying it’s a part of his responsibility to guard the nation.

In a speech at an occasion of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Thursday (January 11), Duterte mentioned he has been threatening to kill criminals since he was mayor of Davao City.

“So when I became President, ganun rin ako. ‘I’m trying to build a country. Do not mess up with it because if you continue these things and you’re destroying my country, I’ll simply kill you. And if you continue to propagate shabu, you might lose your funds or your life,’” he recalled.

Duterte mentioned he has by no means denied threatening to kill criminals regardless that the assertion has drawn alarm from human rights advocates.

“And assuming it to be wrong, kindly point out to me where is the wrong there? If I kill you trying to destroy my country, can I not?” he requested.

Duterte mentioned that if human rights advocates are involved about defending folks, he’s centered on taking care of the nation’s welfare.

“So ‘pag hindi tayo nagkaintindihan diyan… if you do not, still cannot — until now, it’s one year almost sobra, hence. If that does not get into your gray matter between the ears, then I’m sorry for you,” he mentioned.