The Philippines’ police chief has called on drug users to kill traffickers and burn their homes. Ronald dela Rosa spoke out as he sought to maintain momentum in outspoken president Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial crime war which has already claimed 2,000 lives. “Why don’t you give them a visit, pour gasoline on their homes and set these on fire to register your anger,” dela Rosa said in a speech aired on television on Friday. “They’re all enjoying your money, money that destroyed your brain. You know who the drug lords are. Would you like to kill them? Go ahead. Killing them is allowed because you are the victim.”
I admit many are dying but our campaign, now, we have the momentum
Philippines police chief Ronald dela Rosa
The often foul-mouthed Mr Duterte was elected in June on a promise to kill tens of thousands of suspected criminals in an unprecedented blitz that would eliminate illegal drugs in six months. But his controversial drive - which included offering bounties to those who kill drug dealers - has been widely criticised for encouraging vigilantes. Mr Dela Rosa was speaking to several hundred drug users who had surrendered in the central Philippines. When asked if Mr Duterte supported the call to murder and commit arson, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella denied that was the police chief’s intent. “There is no such call. It’s a passionate statement,” Abella told reporters on Friday.