MANILA, 30th June, 2016 (WAM) — The Philippines has a new president after Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in during a ceremony in Manila today following his resounding election victory in May.
Known for his controversial methods, the 71-year-old former Mayor of Davao City has promised to bring back the death penalty. During his inaugural speech in the capital, Duterte vowed a ‘relentless’ and ‘sustained’ battle against crime and corruption.
“I know that there are those who do not approve of my methods of fighting criminality, the sale and use of illegal drugs and corruption, they say my methods are unorthodox and verge on the illegal.”
Nicknamed ‘The Punisher’, Duterte begins a six-year term in office, and replaces outgoing president, Benigno Aquino.
Despite drastically cutting crime during his 22-year reign as mayor of Davao, his maverick methods and extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals have alarmed some human rights groups who estimate that more than 1,000 people were killed with no legal process.
The new vice-president, Leni Robredo, was sworn in at a separate ceremony in Quezon City, in the suburbs of the capital.