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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Philippine President Names Judges, Politicians in Illegal Drug Trade

By Yvette C. Hammett

MANILA, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte named a string of judges and former politicians as being involved with illegal drugs and demanding they surrender or face the consequences.

Several of those on his list, however, are no longer in power, local media reported. One judge on the list, according to The Inquirer newspaper, has been dead for eight years.

Duterte said he would take responsibility for any innocents on the list, BBC reported.

Duterte said the move is prompted by a huge number of citizens who are addicted to illegal drugs.

"If you show the slightest violence in the resistance, I will tell the police, 'Shoot them'," he said.

Duterte said those listed were "destroying the country." He read the list aloud on national television while he was attending a wake for a fallen soldier, the Wall Street Journal reported. He said their involvement in the drug trade was akin to treason.

The Inquirer published the complete list of those on Duterte's list, some whom he threatened to "whack" if they didn't cooperate.

Duterte gave those on his list 24 hours to come forward to their supervising agencies or he would have police and the military hunt them down.

He also said he is removing any official authority those on the list had. "I am removing their operational authority over them. Twenty-four hours, everybody, military police, attached to them, report to your mother unit. I give you 24 hours or I will whack you and dismiss you from the service," he said.

The president called this a matter personal to him. "I'll wait for you, regardless of where. Even if I'm no longer in the presidency for so long as I have gun. If you want, wake me up," Dutete said.