Palace: San Francisco Supervisors' resolution on drug war "outrageous interference"
Malacanang on Sunday slammed the resolution issued by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on the Duterte administration's war on drugs, saying it was "an outrageous interference."
"The resolution is a toxic and unacceptable intrusion to our legal processes and an outrageous interference with our country's sovereignty," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
In a resolution, the Board of Supervisors condemned the Philippine government's bloody campaign against illegal drugs and expressed support to opposition Senator Leila de Lima, who is currently detained for illegal drug charges, as well as Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, who is facing several charges in relation to the news website's alleged violation of constitutional provision on 100 percent Filipino ownership. Rappler has been critical of the Duterte administration.
The resolution also urged the withdrawal of financial aid to the Philippines.
“It is astonishingly incredible and amazingly perplexing why men and women of arts and letters such as the San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors could believe the false narratives as well as the bogus statistics cited in the Duterte administration’s drug war, fed to them by biased news agencies, anti-Duterte trolls and a biased alleged labour and environmental activist from San Francisco and Richmond,” Panelo said.
The Board of Supervisors is the legislative branch of the City and County of San Francisco.
Panelo said the San Francisco Supervisors should be shaken from its stupor and wake up to the fact that the Philippines had long ceased to be a colony of the US and would never be a vassal to it.
“Like some US Senators, the San Francisco Supervisors have either developed an amnesia or have not outgrown their colonial mentality,” he said.
“The cases of Senators De Lima, (Senator Antonio) Trillanes (IV) and Miss Ressa are being tried before our local courts, which belong to a separate and independent branch of the government. They have been afforded their rights to due process,” Panelo added.
He claimed that the criminal prosecution of the two women was anchored on their "transgressions of our laws and it has absolutely nothing to do with their being critical of the administration."
Panelo, who is also the chief presidential legal counsel, said that other harsher critics of the administration are not facing any criminal complaint as they have not violated any law but just exercising their freedom of speech.
“For the San Francisco Supervisors’ education, extrajudicial killings or deaths arising from drug-related killings are absolutely not state-initiated nor sponsored, proof of which is the death of scores of policemen coupled with the serious injuries to hundreds of others,” said Panelo.
Panelo said the government does not tolerate police abuses, citing the dismissal and prosecution of a Manila police officer for killing an epileptic in a false drug raid, together with last year’s conviction of three Caloocan police officers for the killing of a teenager.
He said critics who failed on getting the support of the majority of Filipinos turn to foreign politicians or international human rights groups vulnerable to misinformation and gullible to untruthful narrations against the Duterte government "who then either unwittingly lend hand to - or ignorantly parrot - the detractors’ pretended patriotism and politically motivated advocacy.”
The government's official data showed that over 5,000 people have already been killed in its anti-drug operations since Duterte assumed office in 2016.
But the Ateneo School of Government on Friday said that more than 7,000 drug suspects have perished from the government's war on drugs. Ella Dionisio/DMS