MANILA - A government official on Tuesday blamed communist rebels for the United Nations Human Rights Council's "biased" approach to the Philippine government's war on drugs.
Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said UN rapporteurs do not directly go to the Philippine government but are in the company of critics of the administration.
"The approach has always been biased from the very beginning. The perspective has always been to shut down anything that the government says and believe hook, line, and sinker whatever the critics of the administration are pointing out," he said.
"It is a not a good-natured approach to criticizing government but an effort to put government in a bad light," he added.
Malaya said majority of Filipinos are satisfied with the Duterte administration's anti-narcotics campaign as shown in the latest Social Weather Stations survey.
However, the same cannot be said with the international community's response to the Philippines' drug war.
"In terms of international community, maybe we are at the disadvantage partly also because of the work of the international department of the Communist Party of the Philippines. They have been entrenched in this regard for so long," Malaya said.
Last July, the UNHRC adopted a resolution seeking a comprehensive report on the human rights situation in the Philippines, including alleged extrajudicial killings in the government's drug war.
The Philippines rejected the resolution, with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. calling it a "travesty."
Malaya said the number of deaths that have been attributed to the drug war in the Philippines is exaggerated. He added that Philippine government has been very transparent on its anti-drug war as far as the international community is concerned.
'RUBBISH' DRUG CASE FILES?
In the interview, Malaya also defended the Office of the Solicitor General and the Philippine National Police from accusations that it submitted "rubbish case files" on the government's war on drugs.
The Center for International Law earlier filed a manifestation and motion accusing the OSG and the PNP of "underhanded machinations" in submitting "irrelevant non-drug related case files" not related to Oplan Tokhang.
Centerlaw said that on May 17, the OSG and PNP furnished them 289 compact discs supposedly in compliance with a Supreme Court order to furnish petitioners with copies of thousands of police documents in relation to the government’s war on drugs.
However, the group noted that most of the CDs/DVDs submitted are unrelated to the war on drugs campaign and included incidents of stabbing, mauling, hacking, shooting, and other incidents involving private affairs among citizens.
"Whether those documents indeed are unrelated to the drug war or if indeed those documents are rubbish it is for the court to decide," Malaya said.
He added: "I don't think the OSG and the PNP would do that because the Supreme Court is the highest court of the land, they would not submit documents which were rubbish."
He defended the OSG by saying it meticulously prepares a document which goes through several levels before it is submitted to the Supreme Court.
He added it would be better if media had access to the drug war documents.
"Media would be in a better position to say if it's rubbish or not...People have to see for themselves," he said.