20 February 2017

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella on De Lima being politically motivated
The Human Rights Watch cavalierly calls for “foreign governments to step up to denounce the Duterte Administration” for its supposed disregard for basic human rights. 

It banally disregards the right of a nation to protect its citizens against the menace of a global drug industry, and terrorist-connected drug trade; and that it has done so with assumption of regularity.

Instead, it profusely quotes the discredited witness Edgar Matobato, and broadly paints the “killings of thousands of alleged drug uses and drug dealers after Duterte took office on June 30” – without carefully delineating what properly belonged to legitimate police operations, internecine/ drug trade cleansing, deaths not related to drugs and deaths under extra legal means.

Human Rights Watch blithely ignores the approximately 1,000,000 users and dealers who turned themselves in, the discovery of industrial size illegal drug factories, and the unimaginable extent that “narco-politics” has gripped local politics, law-enforcement and to some extent the legislative and judicial departments.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II speaking directly says, “It is wrong for Senator de Lima to refer to herself as a political prisoner.  Drug cases do not involve one’s political beliefs. It involves one’s choice to be involved in illegal drugs.” De Lima’s case is not politically motivated.  It is, simply put, “criminal in nature.” The human rights organization might bear that in mind before it attempts to obligate the Duterte Administration.