Presidential spokesman says Morales may have taken Duterte's statements out of context
MANILA- Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has accused President Rodrigo Duterte of “goading” his people to kill amid a number of alleged extra-judicial killings perpetrated by law enforcers.
In an interview with Japanese public network NHK, Morales gave her sharpest criticism yet of the President’s war on drugs.
“He's goading people to kill people. That's a problem. His communications people say ‘that's hyperbole.’ You know, they try to rationalize whatever he says, so whether or not the police or whoever he addresses these words, believe him. That's a different story. The directive to kill people under any situation irrespective of the context, to me, that's not acceptable.” Morales said.
Morales has been careful about her statements on supposed extra-judicial killings under the administration's drug war, as the campaign has drawn international criticism from the US government, the European Union, and non-government organizations advocating human rights.
Government has maintained that it does not sanction extra-judicial slays, insisting that the deaths in the government's anti-drug operations involved drug suspects who violently resisted arrest.
Police data show that nearly 3,000 drug suspects have died in presumed legitimate police operations in Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs.
Out of 9,432 homicide cases from July 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 or the first 9 months of the Duterte administration, 1,847 have been found to be drug-related, while 5,691 cases are still under investigation.
Duterte's anti-narcotics drive has also resulted in a 26.45 percent drop in the estimated total drug market and a 28.57 percent reduction in index crimes, according to police data.
Carpio's office is currently conducting an investigation on the killings, as well as complaints related to the case of Sen. Leila de Lima, a vocal Duterte critic currently detained at Camp Crame on drug charges.
The lawmaker has repeatedly denied the charges, saying her detention is due to her criticism of President Duterte.
“In our case, there have been some complaints which have a bearing on extra-judicial killings, which have a bearing on drugs, especially the complaints against the detained senator, so we try to consolidate all these complaints and conduct an investigation,” Morales said.
On Friday, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, meanwhile, said Morales' statements are her "opinion," adding that the feisty graft-buster may have taken the President "out of context.”--with a report from Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News