Philippines hits back at HRW report: Don’t brush aside Duterte’s reforms

By:  – Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
 / 01:16 PM June 29, 2017
Palace hits back at HRW report: Don’t brush aside Duterte’s reforms

Malacañang on Thursday decried the report of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) saying President Rodrigo Duterte’s first year in office was marred with “human rights calamity.”

“We don’t feel good about the comments of the Human Rights Watch report but we have also have to be firm and we have to realize that the President stood and won on a platform of genuine change,” Communications Assistant Secretary Ana Maria Banaag.

On Wednesday, HRW said the Duterte administration’s “murderous” war on drugs, drug-related overcrowding of jails, and alleged harassment and prosecution of drug war critics had caused a “steep decline in respect for basic rights” since Duterte’s assumption of office.

Banaag said the HRW should not ignore the reforms Duterte had made.

“He wanted a better life for the Filipino people and of course, we should not also – well, Human Rights Watch should not brush aside all the programs especially the enforcement side,” she said.

Government data showed that authorities have facilitated the surrender of 1,304,795 drug personalities from July 1, 2016 to June 6, 2017. It also revealed that security officials had seized 2,340.74 kilos of shabu with a street value of P12.10 billion pesos, and confiscated drug-related laboratory equipment worth P18.01 billion pesos.

“It is not a joke to enforce 62,000 anti-drug operations in here. That’s so much sacrifice and of course also we have around 1.3 million drug surrenderers. These things, the government is doing something about this through the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs,” she said.

Banaag assured the public the government was working to address alleged extrajudicial killings in the country.

“So the government is not sitting down, watching lives being wasted just this way. So with this one of course we say that the President only wanted so much for his countrymen,” she said. JE/rga


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