MANILA-- MalacaAang on Monday hit back on international group Human Rights Watch (HRW) for declaring falsehoods against President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration's war on illegal drugs.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella dismissed recent statements made by HRW Deputy Asia Director Phelim Kine as outright lies that somehow exposes the organization's deep insensitivity to other cultures.
"The war on drugs is not targeted at any particular segment of society. Nothing can be farther from the truth than the HRW accusation that President Duterte has 'contempt for lives.' In fact, eight out of ten Filipinos living in Metro Manila now feel safer and more secure under his administration," Abella said.
MalacaAang issued the statement after Kine remarked Sunday in his Twitter post that Duterte has "finally acknowledged" that the war on drugs is "a war on the poor" and exposes the chief executive's "contempt for lives."
Abella pointed out that shabu, the most prevalent drug in the Philippines, is dubbed as poor man's cocaine because of its low cost as compared to other high end drugs, and its availability in the streets.
Because of this, he said shabu, which largely comes from outside the Philippines, is in great demand from both users and distributors, majority of whom came from poor families.
"Poverty, however, does not justify the use and selling of shabu. As the President said, he has to clean up the streets of drug users, pushers and dealers, regardless of their socio-economic status in life," the Palace official said.
"HRW and similar other organizations should therefore be more circumspect about meddling in the country's domestic affairs. Their lack of appreciation of the context and local reality show a deep insensitivity to other cultures," Abella said.
Source: Philippines News Agency