(JANUARY 13, 2020) – The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday blamed critics and foes for “demonizing” the war on drugs after an independent poll showed many people believed widespread human rights abuses on the campaign.
Around 76 percent of adult Filipinos surveyed by the Social Weather Station last month said there have been human rights abuses in the government’s drug war, which has killed 6,000 people based on the official police data.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo s said the drug-related deaths were due to the suspect’s violent resistance during police operations.
“A lie repeated many times over is somehow stamped with a perception of truth,” Panelo said in a statement.
Vice President Leni Robredo said the drug war a failure in her report as an 18-day Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs co-chairperson, after government numbers showed only about one percent of total shabu and drug money had been intercepted in the past three years.
However, Panelo said 73 percent of the respondents said the number of illegal drug users in the country had fallen since Duterte took office in 2016.
Panelo also described it as the thing that “matters most” and a primary reason for Duterte’s high approval and trust ratings from Filipinos.
“[W]e are equally decisive in protecting the human rights of our citizens. We are likewise determined to punish to the fullest state agents who abuse their authority,” the spokesman said.
The survey interviewed 1,200 adults, distributed evenly in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. (Randell Ritumalta/MM)