Date
26 September 2017
Rodrigo Duterte says he will restore the death penalty and allow the police to shoot on sight anyone suspected of involvement in organized crime. Photo: Reuters
Rodrigo Duterte says he will restore the death penalty and allow the police to shoot on sight anyone suspected of involvement in organized crime. Photo: Reuters

Duterte declares Singapore-style discipline on Filipinos

Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is promising a tough code of social conduct a week after being swept to victory on a law and order platform.

On Monday, Duterte announced a Singapore-style war on anti-social behavior that includes a crackdown on smoking and drinking alcohol in public places, the Wall Street Journal reports.

He also vowed to go after speeding and drunken driving.

Duterte said he will restore the death penalty, which was suspended in 2006, and allow police to shoot on sight people suspected of involvement in organized crime.

Parents who allow their minor children out after a 10 p.m. curfew will be prosecuted for negligence and taxi drivers will be compelled to carry change to stamp out the common practice of overcharging, Duterte said.

He also promised to get tough on noise pollution so that people could get a good night’s sleep.

“These are the things I want to correct right at the beginning,” said Duterte, who will take office on June 30 after congress ratifies the election results.

Filipinos elected Duterte by a large margin, according to unofficial results, handing the 71-year-old a single, six-year term.

While recognizing that some of his objectives, such as shifting the country to a federal system, would take years, he said improving everyday behavior could happen within weeks.

Ridding the country of criminals and drug dealers should take less than six months, he said.

“Those who destroy the lives of our children will be destroyed; those who kill our country will be killed — simple as that,” he said.

He pledged to restore the death penalty for serious crimes. Local neighborhoods will have armed security teams to maintain order, he said.

Duterte has already imposed many of his proposed restrictions on Davao, which he has run for three decades as mayor.

Although taxi drivers still grumble about the 60 kilometer-an-hour speed limit, many citizens in the city of roughly 1.5 million people seem comfortable enough with Duterte’s rules.

The challenge now for the incoming leader will be to replicate that disciplinary approach at a national level. He will need to depend on police to enforce new rules but he hasn’t explained how he would ensure compliance across every region.

Duterte allso promised to improve his own behavior, having been heavily criticized during the election campaign for making tasteless jokes and swearing profusely.

“I have to get used to being the top honcho,” he said.

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RC/RA

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