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SWS: 76% of Pinoy believe ‘many’ rights abuses under Duterte

/ 04:51 AM January 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Four out of five adult Filipinos believe there have been many human rights abuses in President Duterte’s violent war on drugs, according to a recently released Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

The results of the poll, taken from Dec. 13 to 16, revealed that 76 percent of Filipinos see many (33 percent “very many,” 42 percent “somewhat many”) human rights abuses such as extrajudicial killings during the campaign against illegal drugs while 24 percent said there were few abuses (21 percent “only a few,” three percent “very few”).

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The noncommissioned survey also showed that 73 percent believe the number of illegal drug users has dropped compared to when the President took office in July 2016 while 14 percent said it had risen. Twelve percent said the number of drug users “stayed the same.”

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo blamed the unfavorable results of the SWS poll on “relentless disinformation” by Mr. Duterte’s critics and “shameless media outlets.”

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“The Palace is unsurprised with the survey finding. The administration’s war on drugs has been demonized by the relentless disinformation launched by President’s vocal critics and the political opposition at its inception and not without the cooperation of some shameless media outlets. A lie repeated many times over is somehow stamped with a perception of truth,” he said in a statement.

He accused the “rambunctious peddlers of disinformation” of associating extrajudicial killings, which he said were not state-initiated, with the government’s antidrug operations.

On the removal of Vice President Leni Robredo’s cochairmanship of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs at the time of the survey, 56 percent knew about her removal while 43 percent said they learned about it only during the interview.

The survey found 49 percent agreeing that the removal of Robredo was an admission by the administration that its war on drugs was failing.

Twenty-one percent disagreed and 30 percent were undecided on this matter, yielding a net agreement (percent agree minus percent disagree) of +28, classified by SWS as moderately strong.—Reports from Marielle Medina and Julie M. Aurelio

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