Duterte hits Putin: I kill criminals, not children, elders
Outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sharply criticized Russian leader Vladimir Putin for the killings of innocent civilians in Ukraine, saying while the two of them have been tagged as killers, "I kill criminals, I don't kill children and the elderly."
Duterte, who openly calls Putin an idol and a friend, voiced his rebuke for the first time over Russia's invasion of Ukraine in remarks aired Tuesday where he blamed the three-month old war for the spike in global oil prices that has battered many countries, including the Philippines.
While stressing he was not condemning the Russian president, Duterte disagreed with Putin's labeling of the invasion as a "special military operation," and said it was really a full-scale war waged against "a sovereign nation.”
"Many say that Putin and I are both killers. I've long told you Filipinos that I really kill. But I kill criminals, I don't kill children and the elderly," Duterte said in a televised weekly meeting with key Cabinet officials. "We're in two different worlds."