MANILA MalacaAang on Tuesday congratulated Filipino journalist Manuel Mogato from international news agency Reuters for being among the recipients of this year's prestigious Pulitzer Prize for his reportage on the Duterte administration's campaign against illegal drugs.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, however, maintained that the drug war is legitimate since the Reuters series painted a bloody picture of the drug crackdown in the country.
Definitely, I'd have to congratulate Manuel Mogato but the fact remains that the policy of the President on the drug war is that the drug war is legitimate. It's intended to protect the youth from the ill effects of drugs, Roque said in a press briefing in Boracay.
Roque explained that the killings committed by law enforcement authorities will be defended by the government as long as they were done in the performance of duty.
The killings committed by state authorities, for as long as they are legal, will be defended by the state, Roque said.
However, he stressed that unjustified killings such as the death of 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos in a drug operation in Caloocan City will not go unpunished.
As in the case of Kian de los Santos, if the killings are contrary to law and unjustified, we will cause the criminal prosecution of the policemen themselves. So that's the state of the drug war, Roque said.
Mogato shared the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting with Reuters' special correspondents Clare Baldwin and Andrew R.C. Marshall.
They were recognized for relentless reporting that exposed the brutal killing campaign behind Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.
Source: Philippine News Agency