MANILA MalacaAang on Friday slammed a recent report by a non-government organization based in the United States, which listed the Philippines as a "war zone in disguise", calling it "fallacious" and without factual basis.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the report by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) titled, "Year in Review: 2018 Report on Worldwide Political Violence and Protest", is "remarkable in ignorance and bias."
"Not having presented any proof that it has conducted factual investigation in the country as to the conditions obtaining, it is reasonable to believe that its conclusion is based on allegations made by groups that are hopelessly and blindly critical of the Duterte administration. These include the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, as well as partisan media outfits like Rappler, Philippine Daily Inquirer, New York Times, and Reuters, among others," Panelo said.
He said President Rodrigo R. Duterte's high approval and trust ratings show the trust and confidence of the Filipinos on the administration.
"Our people recognize, feel and embrace the visible change happening in our land. To ACLED we say, as we have repeatedly conveyed to other foreign human rights organizations, we do not need lectures from inexpert foreign groups on how to run a nation," Panelo said.
The Palace official cited the conviction of three police officers involved in the killing of teenager Kian delos Santos and a free press critical of the Duterte administration as proof that law and order is working in the country.
"Describing the war on drugs as a state terror campaign targeting innocent civilians as a government policy is pure hogwash. So is putting the Philippines on its list of the most dangerous places for civilians in 2018," he said.
Panelo said cases filed against online news website Rappler and detained Senator Leila de Lima were based on criminal offenses they committed and not due to their critical stance against the administration.
The ACLED listed the Philippines as one of the deadliest countries for civilians in 2018, alongside countries like Syria, Nigeria, Yemen, and Afghanistan.
According to its website, ACLED is "a disaggregated conflict collection, analysis and crisis mapping project." (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency