Malacañang has cried foul over the Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) assessment that the President Rodrigo Duterte’s first year was a “human rights calamity.”
Communications Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag on Thursday (June 29) said the Palace doesn’t “feel good” about HRW’s comments.
“Human Rights Watch should not brush aside all the programs especially the enforcement side,” she said at a press briefing.
“How many operations have been conducted by the enforcement agencies, anti-drug agencies? It is not a joke to enforce 62,000 anti-drug operations in a year,” Banaag added.
The Palace official said the government is actively fighting the illegal drugs menace since it was part of Duterte’s campaign platform.
“The government is not sitting down, watching lives being wasted just like — just this way,” she said.
In a statement, Human Rights Watch said Duterte has unleashed a human rights calamity on the Philippines in his first year in office.”
“The government’s murderous ‘war on drugs,’ drug-related overcrowding of jails, and the harassment and prosecution of drug war critics has caused a steep decline in respect for basic rights since Duterte’s inauguration on June 30, 2016,” the international watchdog said.
While Banaag said it was up to the people to assess the effectivity of the war on drugs, she noted that the government has accomplished “so much” in its campaign, as proven by the confiscation of P18 billion worth of shabu and laboratory equipment.