Duterte: I've never killed anybody

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(CNN Philippines, May 5) — Has he or has he not killed people in the past?

President Duterte has been quoted in the past as admitting to killing "3 to 4" people when he was mayor of Davao City.

But at a conference in Davao City on Thursday, he said he's never taken anyone's life.

Though he admits threatening to kill criminals, he said he's never actually done it.

"For God's sake, until now I have not killed anybody."

"I said, 'I will kill you.' I have never killed anybody. But my message to the law enforcement was very clear: that if their life is in danger or placed in jeopardy, go ahead, you are not supposed to sacrifice your life," Duterte said.

Clear from the beginning

In his speech, Duterte said even as mayor of Davao City, he has always wanted a "clean city."

Though not directly identifying people named with drugs, Duterte said he warned lawless elements from destroying his city.

"I'm having so many problems of governance. I need the money to pay for the teachers, policemen, allowances, lahat na. The ones who clean the city, the bureaucracy, the firemen and their allowances. Where will I get the money if you guys will scatter your… So go out of the city because I will kill you. Do not destroy the young por Dios, because I will really kill you."

Duterte added he said the same thing when he became President.

"And during the campaign, that's what I promised. It is a covenant between you and me. That here is my program of work, very limited, but if you elect me President, I will do this. And I'm doing it. So okay tayo."

Kill only in self-defense

Duterte admits there have been deaths in the administration's fight against illegal drugs, but insists these were during encounters when those pursued refused to give up.

He said his instructions to the police and military were simple: "'Arrest them if it is possible, still if it's longer possible, then if they confront you with a violent resistance and you feel that you'd lose your life in the process, kill them.' Iyon lang ang inutos ko, which is really the rule, the criminal law of all lands. That when your life is in danger, especially if you are a peace officer, that's self-preservation. Self-defense."

CNN Philippines' Ina Andolong contributed to this story.