Palace: Global Witness report a repeated ‘sham’

Published September 25, 2019, 1:24 PM

by Dr. Eduardo Gonzales

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

“Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.”

Malacañang said United Kingdom-based human rights group Global Witness has been living by this old cliché as it supposedly rehashed its “sham” claims that the Duterte Administration had a hand in the death of the country’s environmental defenders.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo (PCOO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo (PCOO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement after Global Witness said in its report this month that President Duterte’s “broken promises are leaving activists at the mercy of business at all costs in the Philippines, the country with the most killings of land and environmental defenders in 2018.”

In his statement, Panelo said that Global Witness once again “falsely and unfairly” pinned the blame for the death of 113 land and environmental defenders in the Philippines on the Duterte Administration.

“The Palace considers the UK-based group Global Witness as a purveyor of falsity and a subservient machinery for political propaganda. There is nothing new to its sham assertion which mimics the recurring chants of the usual derogators of PRRD,” he said.

“Blaming a government with baseless conjectures for a domestic problem which it seeks to resolve flies in the face of impartial observation and circumspection, and even causes a division among its people. In this case, it is worse as it is being committed by one who is a stranger to our country’s internal affairs,” he added.

According to Panelo, the group’s report was a mere rehash of what they stated in July 2019, which became the subject of an editorial in The New York Times last August 1, 2019.

“Its original manifesto did not accomplish its mission of tainting the integrity of this Administration, thus the shameful resort to repetition,” he said.

“This is not news. And no wonder discerning media outfits did not even bother publishing any account about it,” he added.

The Palace official said that Global Witness once again made it appear that the Duterte Administration was the “raison d’etre” for the situation befalling the said land and environmental defenders.

Panelo also cited the 27th page of the report, with one of its illustrations as the Sagay incident, where it blamed the Philippine law enforcers for what happened to the farmers but deliberately failing or consciously omitting the local communist movement and armed conflicts as critical components of those deaths.

“As I previously pointed out, many of our local authorities, security forces, and even tribal leaders died protecting land rights against communist insurgents who want to control these areas,” he explained.

“Necessarily, the President, pursuant to his primordial and constitutional duty of serving and protecting the people, had to undertake measures to maintain peace and order in the affected localities,” he added.

Last month, Panelo said Global Witness missed the point when it cited the Philippines as a deadly nation for land rights.

“Global Witness made it appear that it is the government which is to blame for the situation while failing or omitting to factor the local communist movement and armed conflicts as critical components thereof,” he said.

“It has not considered the fact that many of our local authorities, security forces, and even tribal leaders died protecting land rights against communist insurgents who want to control these areas,” he added.

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["news"]
[2165652,2814292,2534630,2485825,2408462,2358243,2358052,2344118,2339143,2047660,1998697,996820,995332,995948,995006,994327,994303,993947,993860,993770,993529,993383,993285,798318,2874320,2874312,2874129,2874503,2874500,2874497]