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Duterte wielding ‘toxic agenda?’ Palace hits back

/ 04:18 PM February 22, 2017
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

President Rodrigo Duterte. AP File Photo

What can Malacañang say about Amnesty International’s report citing President Rodrigo Duterte as among world leaders “wielding a toxic agenda?”

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella shrugged it off, saying it “does not reflect the sentiments of the majority of Filipinos.

“The President received an overwhelming mandate last election; and presently, more than 8 out of 10 Filipinos trust and are satisfied with the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs, and its handling of criminality, according to recent surveys,” he said.

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Amnesty International on Wednesday released its annual report on rights abuses around the world and it listed Duterte, together with US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, among those “wielding a toxic agenda that hounds, scapegoats and dehumanizes entire groups of people.”

The group said such leaders employ “poisonous” rhetoric.

READ: Amnesty blames Trump, Duterte, others in global rollback of rights

Abella insisted that the government “does not condone extrajudicial killings perpetrated by common criminals wrongly credited in news reports as part of police operations,” referring to killings perpetrated by unidentified gunmen said to be vigilantes going after drug suspects.

The spokesperson added that a million users and dealers have already surrendered while the government has discovered drug laboratories and people involved in “narco-politics.”

Abella gave a similar statement in response to British Ambassador Asif Ahmad who raised concerns on the current situation in the country, which includes proposals to revive the death penalty.

READ: Death penalty revival spooking British investors

“Confidence—both business and consumers—is high in the Duterte administration. One wishes diplomats were more familiar with life beyond the rarefied atmosphere of gated villages,” he said. RAM

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TAGS: Amnesty International, Palace, President Rodrigo Duterte, report, US President Donald Trump
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