New Philippines leader wants to bring back hangings

Philippines President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to introduce executions by hanging and order military snipers to kill suspected criminals as part of a ruthless law-and-order crackdown.

In his first press conference since winning the May 9 elections in a landslide, the tough-talking mayor of the southern city of Davao said security forces would be given "shoot-to-kill" orders and citizens would learn to fear the law.

"I expect you to obey the laws so there will be no chaos. I will hit hard on drugs and I promise them [criminals] hell," Duterte said in wide-ranging comments to reporters at a Davao hotel on his vision for the nation once he is sworn into office on June 30.

He said his "shoot-to-kill" orders would be given for those involved in organised crime or who resisted arrest.

Duterte also vowed to roll out Davao law-and-order measures on a nationwide basis, including a 2am curfew on drinking in public places and a ban on children walking on the streets alone late at night. Smoking in restaurants and hotels would also be banned.

Duterte said a central part of his war on crime would be to bring back the death penalty, which was abolished under then-president Gloria Arroyo in 2006.

"What I will do is urge Congress to restore [the] death penalty by hanging," said Duterte, 71.

Duterte said he wanted capital punishment reintroduced for a wide range of crimes, particularly drugs, but also rape, murder and robbery.

He said he preferred death by hanging to a firing squad because he did not want to waste bullets, and because he believed snapping the spine with a noose was more humane.

The centrepiece of Duterte's stunningly successful election campaign strategy was a pledge to end crime within three to six months of being elected.

He vowed during the campaign to kill tens of thousands of criminals, outraging his critics but hypnotising tens of millions of Filipinos fed up with rampant crime and graft.

He said on one occasion that 100,000 people would die, and so many bodies would be dumped in Manila Bay that the fish would grow fat from feeding on them.


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