Palace dismisses Amnesty report on human rights
Malacanang dismissed on Wednesday the annual report of the Amnesty International, which included President Rodrigo Duterte as one among the world leaders "wielding a toxic agenda that hounds, scapegoats and dehumanizes entire groups of people."
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the AI report "does not reflect the sentiments of the majority of Filipinos."
Citing recent surveys, he said Duterte received overwhelming mandate last election, and currently more than eight out of 10 Filipinos trust and are satisfied with the administration's campaign against illegal drugs, and its handling of criminality.
The AI, in its 408-page annual report, cited Duterte, along with United States President Donald Trump, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as among the leaders allegedly responsible for declining respect for human rights.
It also cited "grave violations of human rights" by these governments, including the Philippines.
Abella reiterated the Duterte administration "does not condone extrajudicial killings perpetrated by common criminals wrongly credited in news reports as part of police operations."
"It is therefore regrettable that AI brushes aside the more than 1,000,000 users and dealers who have surrendered, the discovery of mega drug laboratories, and the narco-politics which have contaminated our politics, governance, and law enforcement agencies," he said.
Abella also debunked the remark of the British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad change has come "but not in a good way."
He said this does not reflect the true sentiment of the common Filipinos as he cited again the survey on Filipinos' trust towards Duterte.
Abella said international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, and credit watcher Standard & Poor’s, increased their growth projections for the Philippine economy in 2017.
Abella also cited the Asian Development Bank backs the government's 10-point socioeconomic agenda and plans to finance the Philippine infrastructure projects and other development initiatives.
"Confidence - both business and consumers ? is high in the Duterte administration. One wishes diplomats were more familiar with life beyond the rarefied atmosphere of gated villages," he said.
Ahmad said the "distraction" and the "noises" being seen now is "un-Filipino," referring to the alleged extrajudicial killings of drug suspects.
He has said when he arrived in the Philippines, the issues were about the public private partnerships, Charter change and the Bangsamoro peace process, not the killings and even the revival of death penalty.
The Duterte administration is also pushing for the reimposition of capital punishment. Celerina Monte/DMS