The Philippine president in televised remarks has warned a Chinese drug suspect that he may die at the Manila airport if he returns from abroad, underscoring the brazen rhetoric and methods he intends to use to fight the drug trade.

As to how the man would die, President Rodrigo Duterte said, "never mind." It was not clear if the man Duterte identified as Peter Lm had been charged with any crime.

Duterte also said two detained drug trafficking suspects would be killed if they attempted to escape in his spontaneous remarks broadcast Thursday by the state-run TV network.

He won the May 9 elections overwhelmingly on a bold promise to end crime and corruption in the first three to six months of his presidency.