Duterte turns to 'Dirty Harry', 'Taken' to defend drug war
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte, who has been nicknamed the "Dirty Harry" of Davao City, turned to the Clint Eastwood character to defend his controversial drug war.
Speaking to an American journalist during a press conference on Friday, September 2, Duterte said many Hollywood movies glorify men who take the law into their own hands to punish criminals.
"I am sure you know Dirty Harry and Dirty Harry felt something for the community," said Duterte after he was asked about the rising death toll in his "war on drugs".
Dirty Harry is the name of a series of books and films about a police inspector known for his extremely violent and ruthless ways of dealing with criminals. The police inspector is played by Clint Eastwood.
"It’s always an eye for an eye at the end of the day. Who taught us? The movie of who’s that – Clint Eastwood – personified it that way," said Duterte.
The father in 'Taken'
He also brought up Liam Neeson's character in the movie Taken in which a CIA agent tracks down the human trafficking syndicate that abducted his teenage daughter.
"I tell you frankly now, if I were the father and I took care of this child, a girl, and then suddenly she’s found dead, raped, would you think I’d be contented just killing one, two, three?" asked Duterte.
He said the same anger that fuelled Neeson into violently dealing with the human traffickers is the same anger that he feels when confronted with drug syndicates "destroying the next generation of Filipinos."
"What's the difference between Liam Neeson killing a lot of Europeans there and Americans because of what happened to his daughter? That's why the scriptwriter knows what's in the mind of the human being," said Duterte.
'Many Clint Eastwoods'
He then asked media to reflect on the "many Clint Eastwoods in the police department."
Addressing the American journalist, Michael Sullivan of National Public Radio Washington, Duterte pointed out that it was Westerners who made these films.
"Everything is shaped up by the culture of the world now...So what goes on in the minds of the Americans?" said Duterte.
His administration's campaign against illegal drugs has led to the deaths of 929 drug suspects during police operations as of September 1, according to the Philippine National Police.
But extrajudicial killings or summary executions – deaths that happen outside police operations and carried out by unknown perpetrators – have claimed at least 1,507 lives. Duterte washes his hands off these killings, saying they are the work of criminals. – Rappler.com