WASHINGTON — In his latest controversial statement, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, known for his bloody antidrug war that has killed thousands, threatened to throw corrupt officials out of a helicopter, saying he has done it before, to a kidnapper, and won’t hesitate to do it again.
‘‘I will pick you up in a helicopter to Manila, and I will throw you out on the way,’’ Duterte said in Tagalog in front of a crowd in the Camarines Sur province Tuesday, according to GMA News. ‘‘I’ve done it before. Why would I not do it again?’’
The Filipino president was visiting areas of the province in the northern island of Luzon that were recently affected by the deadly Typhoon Nock-Ten. The storm, one of the strongest since Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Philippines’ Visayas region in 2014, killed at least six people and displaced hundreds of thousands, according to the Philippine Star.
The former mayor and prosecutor, who rose to power on a promise to uproot his country’s drug problem, has become famous for his brash talks and public outbursts.
He made headlines in April, when he was campaigning for the presidency, for making a joke about an Australian minister who was gang-raped and killed in 1989 in a Davao prison. At that time, Duterte was mayor of the southern city of Davao.
Most recently, Duterte admitted that he had personally killed people. He told a local radio station last month that he killed several criminals during his time as mayor. He specifically talked about killing three men who kidnapped and raped a Chinese girl in 1988, when he was only a few months into his term.