Hogtied and thrown off the river: Duterte warns online scammers abusing COVID-19 crisis

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 5) — President Rodrigo Duterte issued a warning to online sellers who scam the public and take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis.

Duterte — whose presidency has been marred with allegations of extrajudicial killings and human rights violations — said that if it were up to him, he would hogtie online scammers and throw them off the river.

"Itong mga animal na ito, they take advantage of the misery of people. Kung ako, iyan ang gawin ko sa inyo. Talian ko ang paa ninyo pati kamay ninyo, saksakan ko ang bunganga ninyo ng medyas na mabaho limang araw na walang laba, tapos talian ko ng panyo. Ihulog kita sa Pasig," he said in a speech which aired on Friday.

[Translation: These animals take advantage of the misery of people. If it were me, I would tie your feet and hands, gag you with a dirty sock and cloth. Then I'd throw you off the Pasig River.]

He told the public to be more discerning when buying from online shops, especially those advertising face masks. He gave them tips on how to deal with online sellers who scam customers.

"Deliver mo tapos tignan mo ang maskara, kung 'di sangayon sa inorder mo, papasukin mo sa loob ang nagdala ng mask. Talian mo. 'Pag gabi, maghanap ka ng sasakyan, ihulog mo sa Pasig River. Maraming tulay diyan, mamili ka, 3 a.m. wala nang dumadaan diyan maski ano ihulog mo, wala nang makialam diyan," he said.

[Translation: Ask them to deliver the mask you ordered. If it's not up to your standards, ask them to enter your home then tie them up. Wait until dusk before throwing them off the river or bridge. If you do it at 3 a.m., no one will find out.]

Despite Duterte's previous admission that his only sin are extrajudicial killings, his administration has repeatedly denied that it has sanctioned or supported extrajudicial killings. Human rights groups differ, saying Duterte's war on drugs has resulted in tens of thousands of extrajudicial killings.