Palace says 'cannot claim to be perfect' in drug war

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 25 2021 05:35 PM

Workers carry the remains of an alleged drug war victim after its exhumation at the Manila North Cemetery on Sept. 17, 2021. Several remains were exhumed after the leases on their graves expired. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File 
Workers carry the remains of an alleged drug war victim after its exhumation at the Manila North Cemetery on Sept. 17, 2021. Several remains were exhumed after the leases on their graves expired. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File 

MANILA — The government "can't claim to be perfect" in its anti-narcotics crackdown, as with any other program, Malacañang said on Monday, after the justice department released information that indicated foul play in dozens of drug killings during the Duterte administration.

Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday said the agency's report confirms there were "many lapses" in the drug war, including the lack of evidence that suspects were killed because they resisted arrest. 

LINK
Multiple gunshot wounds in slain drug suspects, absence of reports dominate DOJ drug war review
https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/10/20/21/doj-releases-matrix-on-52-cases-of-drug-war-deaths

"Like any other government program, we cannot claim to be perfect," Palace spokesman Harry Roque said, when asked to react to Robredo's remark. 

"Pero ang sinasabi natin, ‘wag naman iyong gawain ng ilang mga bugok ay maapektuhan iyong buong program. Nothing is perfect," he said in a press briefing. 

(But what we are saying is the deeds of a few rotten eggs should not affect the whole program.)

The findings of the justice department prove that the Philippines "is undertaking and performing its obligation insofar as the right to life is concerned," added the official. 

The Philippines has come under pressure from the United Nations to investigate allegations of systematic murders of drug suspects, and the International Criminal Court recently announced it would investigate President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drug campaign.
 
Duterte last week said he takes "full responsibility" for the campaign.

"If there is any person who is going to prison, it would be me," he said in a speech. 

More than 6,000 people have been killed by police in the crackdown, but activists say many thousands more drug users and peddlers were shot dead by mysterious gunmen. Police have denied involvement in those deaths.

Duterte, whose 6-year term ends next year, remained defiant, citing a continued scourge of drug dealers in the country, and said he would only face a Philippine court and a Philippine judge over any alleged crimes.

"I will repeat what I have said before: if you destroy my country and you destroy the young people by feeding them with drugs, you destroy the future," Duterte said. 

— With a report from Reuters 

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