Palace insists: Rights groups ‘unwitting tools of drug lords’
Malacañang on Tuesday said it would not withdraw its statement that some human rights groups may have become “unwitting tools of drug lords” to destabilize the government.
“We stand by the statement we made on the possibility that some non-governmental organizations, instead of assisting the government fulfill its human rights obligations, have become unwitting tools of drug lords,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
“Such scenario, we reiterate, should not be discounted given the billion-peso losses of the drug lords,” he added.
On Monday, Roque said that drug lords could be funding some human rights groups to discredit the government.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Sunday also said that some human rights groups have been “unwittingly used” by drug lords” to counter the government’s war on drugs.
“That’s the reality,” Cayetano said.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has slammed the statements of Roque and Cayetano, calling it “shockingly dangerous and shameful.”
The HRW called on both officials to withdraw their statements.
“Are they trying to have death squads target human rights activists? Cayetano and Roque provide no evidence. They should withdraw their comments immediately,” HRW said in a statement.
But Roque said HRW should not “exaggerate and politicize” the issue.
“Human Rights Watch (HRW) should therefore not feel alluded to, exaggerate and politicize the issue to get some media mileage and public attention,” he said. /muf
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