MANILA - Echoing the words of President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang on Sunday stressed that critics must first have "moral ascendancy" before raising concerns on human rights violations amid government's brutal war on narcotics.
"Ipinaliwanag din po ng Pangulo that hindi ho naman lahat ng mga nagrereklamo sa bansa natin ay walang tanong o walang kinalaman o walang question pagdating doon sa human rights 'no, ng mga violations," Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar
"It's really a matter of kung mayroon bang moral ascendancy iyung mga nagtatanong about human rights."
(The President has explained that not everyone who complained do not have any relation or don't have questions regarding human rights violations. It's really a matter of whether those who are asking about human rights have moras ascendancy.)
Andanar said this when quizzed on the most important message that President Duterte imparted to fellow leaders at the Association of Southeast Nations (Asean) summit in Laos last week.
He said Duterte underscored that the Philippines has its "own foreign policy to follow."
"Pagdating po naman sa questions of human rights that kailan bago tayo magtanong o bago natin kuwestyunin ang human rights policy or kung anuman iyong mga paratang natin sa isang bansa ay dapat tingnan ho muna natin iyong context ng ating tanong at context ng isang kampaniya, for instance, laban sa droga ng isang bansa. Dapat intindihin muna natin,"
(When it comes to questions of human rights, before we question the human rights policy or whatever accusation against the country, we should first look at the context of our question and the campaign, for instance, the fight against illegal drugs. We should understand it first.)
Duterte earlier threatened to curse at US President Barack Obama if the American leader broaches the human rights record of the Philippine anti-drug campaign, which has seen the deaths of thousands of suspected criminals. A planned meeting between the two leaders was cancelled due to Duterte's volatile rhetoric.
READ: 'No Duterte-Obama handshake at East Asia Summit'
During the Asean summit, the firebrand President also reportedly continued his tirade against Washington by slamming its military killings in Mindanao from 1898 to 1946, when the Philippines was still an American colony.
READ: Duterte 'shocks' summit meeting with tirade vs US
Andanar maintained that Duterte deserves the public's support after he asserted the sovereignty of the Philippines and aired grievances over alleged imperialist abuses.
"The President said in his arrival speech that kahit papaano naman siguro, he made us proud as Filipinos dahil pinaglaban niya ang ating karapatan sa buong mundo. At the same time, nilabas niya iyong more than 400 years of ... iyong sama ng loob ba natin 'no, doon sa mga pinaggagawa ng mga imperialist, ng ating mga colonial masters noon," the Palace official said.
(The President said in his arrival speech that maybe somehow, he made us proud to be Filipinos because he defended our rights before the whole world. At the same time, he also exposed 400 years of... our grievances over what imperialists and our colonial masters have done.)
"Naipalabas niya na we are now following an independent policy, that we are also a sovereign state at dapat tayo ay tumayo sa sarili nating mga paa at dapat iwagayway natin ang ating bandila 'no. We should be proud of our country," he added.
(He showed that we we are now following an independent policy, that we are also a sovereign state, that we must stand on our own feet and proudly brandish our flag. We should be proud of our country.)
Andanar also insisted that police efforts against drug rings are successful, although the "alarming" vigilante killings of suspects must be investigated.
The Philippine National Police reported Saturday that 1,466 suspected drug offenders have been killed by policemen, while another 1,490 were murdered by suspected vigilante groups since Duterte assumed office on June 30.