‘Shoot me’ if I become a dictator: Duterte tells troops to protect constitution

President Duterte
Updated 23 January 2018
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‘Shoot me’ if I become a dictator: Duterte tells troops to protect constitution

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday instructed the army and police to shoot him if he became a dictator and stayed on beyond his term, a scenario his foes are warning against, amid moves by his loyalists to change the constitution.
The firebrand leader sought to dispel speculation he had ordered loyalists in Congress to change the constitution to introduce a federal system that would let him stay in power beyond 2022, when his single term ends.
“If I overstay and wanted to become a dictator, shoot me, I am not joking,” Duterte told soldiers during an army base visit, adding that security forces should not allow anybody to mess with the constitution.
“It is your job to protect the constitution and to protect the people. Remember, it is your solemn duty.”
Duterte has advocated federalism to tackle inequality, empower provinces and recognize the country’s diverse makeup.
Last week, his lower house allies voted to convene a constituent assembly to revise the charter by May this year, scrapping mid-term elections next year and extending the terms of all elected officials.
Constitutional reform has been a divisive issue, with critics accusing lawmakers of trying to prolong their stay in office, or of seeking a way for the hugely popular Duterte to cling to power beyond the end of his term.
Opponents warn it could lead to a repeat of the oppressive rule of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, saying they are troubled by Duterte’s admiration for Marcos and his similar authoritarian traits.
Duterte’s spokesman, Harry Roque, has repeatedly said the president has no desire to stay longer than his term and, if anything, would prefer to retire earlier.


Polish parliament honors slain Gdansk mayor with prayer

Updated 16 January 2019
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Polish parliament honors slain Gdansk mayor with prayer

  • The attacker stabbed the mayor three times, in the heart and the abdomen
  • The stabbing happened while the mayor was onstage during a fundraising event

WARSAW: Polish lawmakers have paid respects to the popular mayor of Gdansk, who died after being stabbed by an ex-convict with a grudge.
Parliament members stood Wednesday for a minute of silence and prayed for Pawel Adamowicz, who died on Monday after being stabbed while onstage at a fundraising event the evening before.
Grzegorz Schetyna, the head of the opposition Civic Platform party, remembered Adamowicz as a courageous man who had devoted his life to his city, and blamed “insane hatred” for his killing.
The assailant stabbed Adamowicz three times in the heart and abdomen and told the crowd it was revenge against Civic Platform, which was in power when he was imprisoned for bank robberies. Adamowicz was a longtime member of the party but left it in 2015.