Philippine President Duterte: 'I Paid My Debts to God' but May 'Go to Hell' for Killings

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said it's possible he might be going to Hell after admitting to personally killing a number of people.

(Photo: Reuters/Ezra Acayan)Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he delivers a speech during an awarding ceremony for outstanding Filipinos and organizations overseas, at the Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines December 19, 2016.

ABS-CBN News reports that Duterte made his remarks on Monday at an awards ceremony for outstanding Filipinos and organizations overseas, where he said that he does not enjoy killing people, but added that it is sometimes necessary to combat the country's massive drug trade problem.

"All the bad things I committed in the past, pinagbayaran ko yan. I know somehow that I was repaying my debts to God for doing something sometimes wrong, but you know just as killing," he said, in an English translation.

Last week, the Philippine leader admitted that he had killed criminal suspects while he was mayor of Davao City in order to set a precedent for police officers.

"I'd go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around, and I would just patrol the streets looking for trouble," he explained. "I was really looking for a confrontation, so I could kill."

Duterte has been criticized by those who are opposed to the death penalty for reportedly ordering the executions of more than 3,100 drug users and dealers.

He said in his latest remarks that he will take responsibility for his war or drugs and for his own killings, however.

"I assume full responsibility and if I have to go to Hell may I rot in jail for all times," he added.

Duterte has in the past said that he believes in God but does not follow organized religion. He has also been critical of the nation's Roman Catholic Church, which has opposed his attempts to reinstate the death penalty.

Back in September, he compared himself to German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in his plan to kill 3 million drug users.

"There are 3 million drug addicts (in the Philippines). I'd be happy to slaughter them."

"If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have ...," he said at the time, pausing and pointing to himself.

"You know my victims. I would like (them) to be all criminals to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition."

Several Jewish groups, including World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder, said that such speech was unacceptable.

"What President Duterte said is not only profoundly inhumane, but it demonstrates an appalling disrespect for human life that is truly heart-breaking for the democratically elected leader of a great country," Lauder said back then.

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