Duterte will never condone extralegal killings, police abuses in drug war — Palace

Published July 20, 2018, 5:39 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte will never condone extralegal killings and any police abuses in the drug war, Malacañang said in disputing an Amnesty International report alleging that the Philippines has become a more dangerous place under his watch.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing in Malacañang on April 20, 2018. (YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque (YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque defended that the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs was being conducted through legitimate police enforcement operations.

The deaths arising from the anti-crime efforts are due to the violent resistance of drug offenders to lawful arrests by authorities, according to Roque.

“There is no truth to the statement of Amnesty International that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has made the Philippines ‘a far more dangerous place,’” Roque said.

“As a member of the bar, the President has prosecuted murder as a capital offense. He, therefore, does not and will never condone extralegal killings, as he maintains zero tolerance for erring policemen who digress from standard protocols and abuse their power,” he added.

In downplaying the Amnesty report, Roque also cited that a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that that victims of common crimes are a record-low of 6.1 percent in 2017.

He said annual average for property crimes was at record-low at 5.6 percent in 2017, the lowest in 28 years.

“Meanwhile, 88%, or more than eight (8) out of 10 Filipinos support the President’s war on drugs, according to a Pulse Asia survey,” he added.

The Amnesty International recently slammed the President for making the Philippines a “far more dangerous place” after supposedly abandoning human rights values.

The group also alleged that impunity and lack of accountability have been displayed in almost all levels of the administration. The government allegedly failed to meet its job to protect the Filipino people including meeting their basic economic needs and civil liberties.