Palace: Duterte ‘in full control’ of war on drugs
Malacañang assured the public on Friday that President Rodrigo Duterte was in “full control of the drug war” after an article published in the British press said the government’s brutal crackdown on illegal drugs was “failing.”
Robert Muggah, in a story on The Guardian, slammed Duterte for his relentless approach to stopping illegal drug trade in the Philippines.
“Even the most adamant supporters of the war on drugs agree that it is failing. At a major UN summit on drug policy earlier this year, many member states argued forcefully for a more balanced and humane approach. But there’s one anti-drug crusader who refuses to face the facts. For the past six months, Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, has waged one of the world’s most vicious counter-narcotics campaigns,” Muggah said.
“Duterte has a nasty habit of playing fast and loose with the facts. In a bid to give credence to his drug war, his team exaggerates and invents data,” he added.
But Communications Secretary Martin Andanar disputed Muggah’s claims in his four-point rebuttal:
- The Philippines has been successful in the campaign against illegal drugs with the voluntary surrender of 1,017,869 drug personalities, as of January 5 based on data from the Philippine National Police.
- TheDecember 3-6 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that nine out of ten Filipinos believe the drug problem has declined in their areas since the President took office.
- The same survey indicated that a great majority of our people, 77%, gave an excellent rating to the President’s drug war.
- Public support for and trust in the President remain high as people feel secure in their homes, in the streets, day and night. Incidents of homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, theft, and carnapping have gone down. Index crime volume decreased 31.67% from July to November 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.
The Palace official said Muggah’s call for economic sanctions by foreign countries on the Philippines was unfounded.
“Threats of withdrawal of development aid and other forms of assistance are totally unfounded. The President remains undaunted as he will never compromise the dignity of the nation for foreign aid,” he said.
He said the President was doing his best to eliminate illegal drugs in the country.
“There is an enormous drug problem in the Philippines and he is trying his best to keep the country from becoming a narco-state,” he said.
“We hope that other countries will treat the Philippines as a sovereign nation and with mutual respect,” he added. RAM/rga
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