Rodrigo Duterte, seen here at a campaign rally, defeated four other candidates on May 9, including the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, to win the presidential election in the Philippines. He said this week he will bring back the death penalty and rid the country of crime. Photo courtesy of Rody Duterte
MANILA, May 16 (UPI) -- Rodrigo Duterte, the president-elect of the Philippines, said he will bring back the death penalty and will offer a cabinet position to the exiled leader of the Communist Party.
Duterte, 71, became the Philippines' president-elect last week when he won a landslide victory in the May 9 election, with a double-digit lead over his nearest opponent.
Speaking on Sunday and Monday, Duterte said he would bring back the death penalty and give security forces the power to shoot-to-kill suspects who resist arrest and suspects who are involved in organized crime.
"If you resist, show violent resistance, my order to police to shoot to kill. Shoot to kill for organised crime. You heard that? Shoot to kill for every organized crime," Duterte said at a press conference.
He also said he would offer Jose Maria Sison, the exiled founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines who led an armed rebellion against the government, a cabinet position, and indicated other cabinet positions would be open to the Communist Party as well, naming the departments of labor, environment, agrarian reform and social welfare.
"Those are the only departments that I can concede to them," Duterte said on Monday.
Duterte, 71, who served as the mayor of Davao City, ran on an anti-crime platform that appeals to the country's upper and middle classes who fear rising criminality. He said he would establish a ruthless administration that would eradicate crime syndicates in the first six months of his administration. During his 22 years as mayor of Davao, Duterte said he ran vigilante death squads in which some 1,700 people were killed.
He warned that as president he would authorize security agencies to kill hundreds of criminals, adding that he would pardon himself and his executioners afterward.
"What I would do is urge Congress to restore the death penalty by hanging, especially if you use drugs," Duterte said.
The Philippines abolished capital punishment in 2006. Duterte will need the support of Congress for his plans to succeed. It is unclear if he can gather congressional support.
Duterte will be sworn in as president on June 30.