LP exec disputes drug tag on rights groups
A Liberal Party (LP) official on Tuesday slammed the “absurd” and “baseless” claim that drug lords have used human rights groups to destabilize the Duterte administration.
Former Rep. Erin Tanada, LP vice president on external affairs, said that “the plot gets crazier by the day.”
“The statement of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque that drug lords are using human rights group to criticize and undermine the government is absurd and baseless,” Tanada said in a statement.
“At the same time, it is patently dangerous because it makes human rights groups possible targets of the anti-drug operations of law enforcers,” the party official stressed.
Tanada said that the statements of Cayetano and Roque were seen as “an attempt to taint and damage the efforts of human rights groups.”
These rights groups, Tanada said, were “courageous and untiring in monitoring the implementation of the government’s anti-drug efforts and the abuses that go with them.”
“They help provide sanctuary and voice to the voiceless victims of this invented war,” the LP official stressed.
“We call on the administration to retract its statement if it can’t provide evidence to back up its claims,” he said.
As of writing, an investigation by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) into the alleged link of human rights groups to drug syndicates is underway.
PDEA spokesman Derrick Carreon said in a Palace briefing that they would “dig further” into the supposed links of human rights groups to drug lords.
“That is subject to further investigation. But seeing the trend of how they attack the anti-drug campaign, I guess we can only surmise that human rights groups are being made as leverage by drug groups,” Carreon said.
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