Palace: Int’l organizations ‘unconsciously conspiring’ vs Duterte
MANILA, Philippines—International human rights groups “appear to have conspired” against President Rodrigo Duterte in criticizing his brutal war on drugs, Malacañang said Tuesday.
“International organizations appear to have conspired against this President. They opt to believe what they’ve been receiving from this source the Philippines…false stories about the situation in this country,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Panelo made the remark in the wake of the Philippines’ withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has launched a “preliminary examination” of the accusations against Duterte on crimes against humanity following a review of a number of communications documenting the alleged crimes.
The Palace official added that “those who speak against the President” in relation to “human rights and drug-related killings” are all “citing the same figures” in condemning Duterte’s drug war, which according to government tally, has claimed the lives of more than 5,000 drug suspects since 2016.
However, critics of the administration has been claiming that the real number may be in between 11,000 and 27,000, including vigilante-style killings that were not considered part of legitimate operations.
Asked where these groups supposedly get their information, Panelo pointed to the “critics and detractors of the President.”
“When these people issue statements, then the newspapers print it, that’s their basis. So unconsciously, they appear to be in conspiracy. Hindi lang siguro nila alam, parang ‘yun ang lumalabas. Pare-pareho sila ng sinasabi e,” he said.
The relentless campaign against illegal drugs is among the key promises of Duterte during his 2016 presidential bid.
Local and international human rights group have denounced Duterte’s drug war as law enforcers have been accused of killing drug suspects, an allegation the government vehemently denied. /muf
READ: Gov’t: 72 killed in January 2019 drug ops; total hits 5,176
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