MANILA - Malacañang on Monday denied findings of a US-based data group that the Philippines is among the most unsafe countries in the world for civilians.
A report by Armed Conflict Location and Event Project (Acled) ranked the Philippines as 4th most dangerous place in the world for civilians due to supposed targeted attacks from the administration’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.
Earlier this year, the Acled labeled the Philippines as a “war zone in disguise" due to the government's anti-narcotics campaign.
“Mapanganib ang bansa sa mga kriminal, sa mga corrupt, sa mga kasama sa sindikato ng droga,” Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
(The country is dangerous to criminals, corrupt, drug syndicates.)
“Talagang mapanganib dito. Kaya kung kayong mga kriminal punta kayo sa bansa namin, o mga miyembro ng sindikato, talagang mapanganib dito. It's very dangerous.”
(It is indeed dangerous here. So if you're a criminal, a drug syndicate visiting the Philippines, it is very dangerous.)
The spokesman also denied claims by critics that as many as 27,000 individuals have been killed in the drug war.
He noted that based on on the government’s official data #RealNumbersPH, there has been only more than 5,000 deaths under the administration's drug war.
Panelo also pointed out that more than 100 police officers have died in anti-drug operations, while another 700 have been seriously wounded.
“Hindi ko maintindihan bakit hindi nila kino-consider yun? Kasi kung state-initiated yun ay wala, walang mamamatay na pulis. Maniwala kayo. Wala. Eh kasi kung state-initiated 'di binaril na lang agad 'yan, tapos na kaagad ang labanan,” he said.
(I cannot understand why they don't consider that? Because if it was state-initiated, no policeman will die. Believe me. None. If it was state-initiated then they should have shot the suspect right away, no firefight.)
The Philippine National Police, meanwhile, slammed the report as baseless and unfounded.
PNP Chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde said all police operations are properly documented and legitimate.
Albayalde said majority of Filipinos support the war on drugs and that international groups are misinformed, adding that several groups had identified the Philippine security situation improving.--With Rafael Santos, ABS-CBN News