MANILA, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government branded Sunday as "irresponsible" a report by a French daily calling President Rodrigo Duterte a "serial killer president."
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said while Duterte uses harsh words in his fight against illegal drugs and threatens drug suspects, "in practice, everything has to be done with regularity."
"It's irresponsible the way they have said it and the way they carelessly used these words and their media power to think the Philippines in such a way," he said in a radio interview, reacting to a French newspaper headline "Rodrigo Duterte, the serial killer president."
He said the comment was irresponsible and shows a lack of understanding of the real situation in the country.
Abella said for the longest time, the previous governments did not address the illegal drug problem.
"And now, it becomes a big (problem), so drastic measures have to be taken for drastic situation," he stressed.
More than 3,500 suspected drug addicts and pushers have already been killed during the past three months of the Duterte administration, with over 1,500 killed in the legitimate police drug operations.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has reported that 8.21-billion-peso worth of illegal drugs have been confiscated during the first 100 days of the Duterte administration and with the intense campaign, the price of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu jumped to as much as 25,000 pesos per gram from at least 1,200 pesos per gram.
But Duterte's war on the drug menace also drew criticisms from the United Nations, the United States and the European Union.