Innocent people and children killed in Philippines drug war are 'collateral damage', says Duterte
Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while delivering a message before leaving for Brunei Reuters

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday that he wished to be "kinder" to the Filipino people. But he has to fulfill his duties even if it means putting his life or the presidency at stake.

Duterte made the comment when he was asked about his reaction on the support that he got from majority of the people regarding his administration's war on drugs.

"I cannot run again. I'm not aspiring to be a popular president, far from it actually," Duterte said in an interview with state-run PTV 4 on Thursday night.

"My job, my promise to you (is to eradicate) corruption, illegal drugs... I'll do that," he said.

"I don't care, I'm done. I don't have time to pretend to be nice," he added.

Duterte pointed out that during his election campaign, he had promised to eradicate corruption, crime and illegal drugs. He won the May elections in a landslide victory on a vow to kill tens of thousands of criminals and to get rid of illegal drugs in the country in six months.

He had said that so many bodies would be dumped in Manila Bay that fish would grow fat from feeding on them and undoubtedly a similar scenario has been created.

"I wish I could be kinder... to you fellowmen but there's a task to be done and I will do it. I will do it even if I have to put at stake my life and the presidency itself," the President added before ending the hour-long interview.

The 71-year-old leader also reiterated that he is ready to step down from office if the people think he could no longer solve the problems of the country.