Albayalde: Global Witness survey ‘missed point’ on PH being ‘bloodiest’ country for land rights activists
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde on Wednesday said international rights watchdog Global Witness might have “missed the point” when it came out with a report that tend to show the Philippines as the “bloodiest” country for land rights activists.
“The reality is that the activities of the local communist movement in the countryside is also a factor in this armed conflict over land rights, and many tribal leaders, community officials and government security forces have died protecting land rights against insurgents who want to place these communities under their control,” Albayalde said in a statement.
“Global Witness may have missed this point in its survey.”
In the watchdog’s annual report released in 2018, the Philippines was found to have 30 people killed for protecting their land from encroaching industries.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo reacted on the study on Tuesday, saying that the killings happen because of the “viciousness” of the claimants.
With this, the PNP chief said that the police force “takes strong exception” to the labeling of the Philippines by Global Witness as a deadly nation for land rights.
“Land dispute has always been a perennial source of conflict among people, and this has been among several motives behind some homicides investigated by the PNP,” Albayalde said.
He also assured that every incident of violence stemming from whatever motive is investigated by the police” with the utmost priority.” /muf
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