Philippine president: I killed someone when I was 16

Philippine president: I killed someone when I was 16
© Getty

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told an audience in Vietnam on Friday that he killed someone when he was 16 "just over a look."

“At the age of 16, I already killed someone,” Duterte said during an address to Filipinos in Danang, Vietnam, according to The New York Times.

“When I was a teenager, I had been in and out of jail, rumble here and there,” he said. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Duterte went on to say that he "won’t let you off the hook" if you mess with Filipinos, adding, “Never mind about the human rights advocates.”

The president's spokesman, Harry Roque, downplayed Duterte's comments, saying “I think it was in jest." 

“The president uses colorful language when with Pinoys [Filipinos] overseas,” he continued. 

Duterte is known for his outlandish, controversial comments; however, he is a frequent target of human rights advocates, who have spoken out against his government's war on drugs. 

The drug war has taken the lives of 3,900 Filipinos, according to Reuters.

The Philippine president's comments come as he is set to meet with President Trump in Manila on Sunday. 

Duterte warned on Wednesday that he'll tell Trump to "lay off" the topic of human rights if Trump raises it during a summit in Manila.

However, Trump has reportedly praised Duterte in the past for his role in combatting the country's drug crisis. 

"You are a good man," Trump told Duterte, according to a transcript of a phone call between the two leaders published by The Intercept in May. Trump also told the Philippine leader that he was doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem.”