The Philippines is only a dangerous place for criminals and the corrupt, Malacañang said on Monday. Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo made this comment after a US-based group ranked the Philippines as the fourth most dangerous country for civilians due to the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
“I agree. Mapanganib ang bansa sa mga kriminal, sa mga korupt, sa mga kasama sa sindikato ng droga. Talagang mapanganib,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“Kasi hindi naman hihinto ang ating mga law enforcement against criminals and drug lords, pushers who are destroying the fabric of our society,” he added.
In an analysis, dated July 3, the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) claimed that “President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs has driven this violence, with alleged drug suspects accounting for almost 75 percent of this year’s civilian deaths”.
On its website, ACLED, is known as the “highest quality, most widely used, real time data and analysis source on political violence and protest in the developing world.”
Panelo, meanwhile, criticized how the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) would cite the 27,000 deaths filed by the police as “homicides under investigation” when reporting on the administration’s drug war.
Data from the Philippine National Police (PNP) showed that there are only over 5,375 drug personalities who died in anti-drug operations.
“Ang sinasabi kasi nila, yung mga civilians. Ang nakakatawa, ang figure ng PNP 5,000 plus. Official record ‘yun e. Sabi nila 27,000, e sinabi nila lahat dun yung homicide cases e,” Panelo said.
Panelo explained that homicide cases included deaths from accidents, reckless imprudence resulting to homicide, business rivalry, crimes of passion or politics among others.
Moreover, he pointed out that these groups also failed to see there are also thousands of police personnel killed and injured in the drug war.
“The fact that there are casualities, ibig sabihin talagang lumalaban. You should consider na pag involved ka sa drugs, talagang iba ang tingin mo sa tao,” Panelo said.
Panelo, however, said it is still “discretionary” on the part of the government to respond or not to formal inquiries concerning state affairs.
“If we feel that the question is legitimate, we will respond but if the question is only designed to fish information that it will use by the inquiring country to embarrass this government, certainly, we will not oblige,” Panelo said.
He also maintained that data provided by the PNP, tagged as #RealNumbersPH should be believed and not exaggerated international figures.
“When the PNP says that is the figure then that is the recorded figure and everyone should believe that because PNP is not in the business of lying. It is in the business of securing peace and order in this country,” Panelo said. PNA