Palace: Amnesty Int’l report ‘simply cut-and-paste’ collection of rehashed issues
MANILA, Philippines — The Amnesty International (AI) report on drug war killings in the Philippines is “simply a cut-and-paste collection” of rehashed issues that are false and are not vetted, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Acting presidential spokesman Martin Andanar said the reports of AI are “never vetted” with the Philippine government to authenticate their information, which is why it includes “false narratives” on the government’s war against illegal drugs.
“We consider Amnesty International Report 2021-2022 as simply a cut-and-paste collection of recycled issues and arguments used by perennial detractors and critics of the Duterte Administration,” he said in a statement.
“The absence of such vetting relegates AI’s report to a mere false rehash. And that especially includes its false narratives on the current government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign and issues surrounding Maria Ressa and Senator Leila de Lima, all of which have been previously answered,” he added.
Malacañang likewise lamented how the AI described the government’s pandemic response as a “mishandling,” saying it is far from the truth since all regions in the country are presented in minimal risk case classification.
Andanar also noted that the Philippines has been elected to a fifth term in the United Nations Human Rights Council, which is a recognition of the government’s “faithful adherence to promoting, protecting, and fulfilling the human rights of the Filipino people.”
He called on the AI to “sit down” with the government to clarify concerns and engage with the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat.
“In keeping with our commitment to remain open to multi-stakeholder engagements, we ask AI to sit down with the government to clarify whatever concerns them, valid issues or otherwise. Offhand, we urge them to engage with the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat so that matters are properly discussed and resolved,” Andanar said.
In its report for 2021 to 2022, AI said impunity among perpetrators has provided the breeding ground for extrajudicial killings and human rights violations to flourish in the Philippines under the Duterte administration’s drug war.
The human rights watchdog also lamented that human rights defenders, political activists, and politicians were subjected to unlawful killings, arbitrary arrest and detention, and harassment.
Indigenous peoples were likewise targeted by attacks by authorities and unknown assailants, while inadequate access to healthcare “worsened” as COVID-19 infection rates rose, the report read.
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