Rodrigo Duterte, Philippine presidential candidate
Rodrigo Duterte has asked the people of Philippines to kill drug dealers and criminalsRomeo Ranoco / Reuters

Philippines president-elect Rodrigo Duterte has urged the people of his country to take up arms, if need be, to fight crime. Addressing a 200,000-strong crowd at a 12-hour victory celebration on Saturday (4 June), Duterte encouraged citizens to shoot and kill drug dealers who fight arrest.

"Please feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have the gun, you have my support," he said in his speech in the southern city of Davao, which was broadcast nationally, The Guardian reported.

He added that a citizen "can kill drug dealers" if they resist arrest or threaten people with a gun or knife.

"Shoot him and I'll give you a medal," Duterte said.

Duterte believes drug addicts cannot be rehabilitated or counselled. "If you are involved in drugs, I will kill you. You son of a w***e, I will really kill you", Al Jazeera reported him as saying.

Duterte, who is known as The Punisher among locals for his zero tolerance of criminals, won the presidential elections on 9 May and will be sworn in as the new president of Philippines on 30 June. He vowed to end crime within six months of being elected.

"I will pay, for a drug lord: five million (pesos) ($107,000) [£741,099m] if he is dead. If he is alive, only 4.999 million," Duterte said in his speech.

The 71-year-old has also threatened to publicly humiliate three police generals, who he believes are involved is serious criminal acts, if they fail to quit their jobs. He added he would order a re-examination of dismissed criminal cases of working policemen.

Human rights activists have expressed serious concern at Duterte's pronouncements and say his method of handling crime could end up violating human rights.