Duterte has denied authorising extrajudicial killings but has repeatedly and openly threatened drug dealers with death. He and the national police, which has led enforcement of his anti-drug campaign, have said most of the suspects killed by police during the campaign fought back and threatened the lives of law enforcers.
Duterte gave the order to the commissioner of the customs bureau, Rey Leonardo Guerrero, in televised remarks from a cabinet meeting on the coronavirus pandemic on Monday night. Guerrero, a retired army general and former military chief of staff, was not present when Duterte spoke, but the president said he met Guerrero and two other officials earlier in the day at the presidential palace in Manila. “Drugs are still flowing inside the country through customs,” Duterte said, adding he had earlier approved Guerrero’s request for firearms. “I approved the purchase of firearms and until now you haven’t killed even one? I told him, ‘Shape up’.