By Irving Feng
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia
DAVAO CITY, The Philippines – Vice mayor, Rodrigo Duterte, of Davao City has offered a 5 million pesos ($121,000) reward for the capture, execution and delivery of a known fugitive’s head.
The fugitive in question is Ryan Yu, the leader of a local car theft ring. Duterte has offered the public two million pesos ($48,400) for Yu’s capture, four million pesos ($96,800) if he is killed, and an additional 1 million pesos ($24,200), on top of the aforementioned reward, if Yu’s head is literally delivered on ice.
Duterte has a reputation for being tough on crime and has been previously associated with death squads. These death squads were responsible for the executions of over 200 suspected criminals during Duterte’s previous mayoral term from 2004 to 2009. The executions included a number of minors as well.
Human Rights Commission (HRC) chairman Loretta Ann Rosales has criticized Duterte’s actions declaring that he has violated the law by ordering the extrajudicial killing of Yu. Rosales claims that Duterte is depriving Yu of proper due process, and despite Yu’s alleged crimes and links to the car theft ring, enjoys certain rights under the law.
Duterte responded to the allegations by calling for Rosales to show him the specific laws that he has violated by ordering the capture of a known fugitive. Duterte claims that there is nothing illegal about using the police and government to sanction the capture of a dangerous criminal linked to a local carjacking gang.
Ronald de la Rosa, the local Davao police chief, says his office was flooded with calls and messages from people asking if the reward offer was legitimate. Rosa assured that the reward was very real, and Duterte says that the funds for the reward will be paid out from his political campaign contributions.
Rosa conveyed that Yu and his gang were responsible for more than 40 stolen vehicles which were stashed in a local warehouse. The discovery of the stolen vehicles prompted Duterte’s call for Yu’s head. Duterte and Rosa have conveyed that the offer is to expedite the capture of a very dangerous criminal who could be armed with automatic weapons.
The reward is to facilitate Yu’s capture; however, it is also incentive for a fairly dangerous endeavor. Duterte says that those who go after Yu need to know that Yu will most likely be armed and incredibly difficult to capture. Because Yu will not come into custody peacefully, it may be possible that Yu must be killed in order for him to be incapacitated.
For further information, please see:
Philippine Daily Inquirer – Don’t castrate gov’t, Duterte tells CHR chief – 29 October 2012
Philippine Star – Duterte mulls raising bounty for car theft ring leader to P6 million – 29 October 2012
Davao Sun Star – Duterte to Human rights commission head: Show me the law I violated – 29 October 2012
NY Daily News – Mayor in the Philippines offers $121,000 reward for decapitated head – 26 October 2012