A shooting incident took place within the presidential compound of the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte and is being investigated, his spokesman said today. The incident occurred at an elite security force camp within the sprawling presidential grounds, which include a house where Duterte resides, said spokesman Ernesto Abella.
He declined to say if the president was in the area when it occurred, or give further details. “It’s being investigated and the nature of the situation needs to be clarified,” he told reporters. “We don’t know the exact nature of this incident,” he added.
Asked where Duterte was when the shooting occurred, Abella said “we don’t have any information regarding that.” The presidential security group separately said they would release a statement later. Duterte, who hails from the southern city of Davao, has said he dislikes staying in the presidential compound and often returns to his home city on weekends.
Duterte was elected in a landslide last year on a vow to eradicate illegal drugs in society by killing up to 100,000 traffickers and addicts. Since he assumed office 15 months ago police have reported killing more than 3,800 people in anti-drug operations with many more killed in mysterious circumstances.
Despite criticism from human rights groups, he still enjoys widespread support among Filipinos who see him as a charismatic, anti-establishment politician who is their best chance to quell crime and corruption.