Palace disputes ‘Person of the Year’ award on Duterte
Malacañang on Saturday disputed the contention of the nonprofit group Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) that President Rodrigo Duterte had made a mockery of the rule of law through his deadly war on drugs.
The OCCRP earlier named Mr. Duterte its Person of the Year for 2017, a distinction it confers on an individual who has done the most in the world to advance organized criminal activity and corruption.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Mr. Duterte had done the opposite, which is to fight crime by moving to eliminate the illegal drug scourge.
Mr. Duterte, Andanar said, also worked to stop drug trafficking and to stop the Philippines from becoming a transshipment point for illegal narcotics.
The President battled corruption by firing people in government who had been linked to graft and other questionable activities including frequent travels abroad, he said.
He pointed out that Mr. Duterte did not spare even those who had been close to him during the campaign.
“If I got the gist of the award correctly, it was a wrong award,” he said.
From July 2016 to November 2017, a total of 3,967 individuals were killed in police antidrug operations.
A total of 16,355 deaths in the country are also under investigation, according to data from the Philippine National Police.
OCCRP editor Drew Sullivan had said that Mr. Duterte had made a mockery of the rule of law in the Philippines.
The President was not the typical corrupt leader, but has empowered corruption through his supposed death squads that are “less discriminating,” he said.
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