Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte addressed allegations his son was a gang member who facilitated the smuggling of methamphetamines into the country on Wednesday.
Duterte, whose war against drugs has earned him the nickname "The Punisher," said he would order police to kill his son Paolo should the 42-year-old politician be convicted of drug trafficking, Philippine news service ABS-CBN reported.
"I told Pulong, 'My order is to kill you if you are caught...And I will protect the police who will kill you,'" Duterte said at an awards ceremony for "outstanding government workers" at the presidential Malacañang Palace in Manila.
"I said before, if I have a child into drugs, you just kill them so no one can say anything," the Philippine leader added, according to local news service Rappler.
Earlier in September, Paolo Duterte appeared before Philippine lawmakers, where he faced charges, made by an opposition party politician, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, that he was a Chinese triad gang member.
The younger Duterte was accused of smuggling methamphetamines from China.
The allegations came from a customs "fixer," Mark Taguba, who said he arranged for the shipment and was bribed to allow the drugs to enter the Philippines.
Trillanes had said Paolo Duterte facilitated the smuggling of $350 million worth of drugs into Manila port.
Rodrigo Duterte had initially denounced the allegations against his son and called the evidence against Paolo "trash."
During Duterte's term in office, more than 3,800 people have been killed in an anti-drug crackdown that rights groups including Amnesty International has described as "unlawful."