Roque hits BBC: Duterte cleared from Davao killings
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday dared the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) to produce the report of UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston implicating President Rodrigo Duterte in the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS.)
This, while the President’s mouthpiece stood by his previous statements that Mr. Duterte’s liability over the murders in Davao City, where the Chief Executive served as long-time mayor, was only limited to “administrative lapses.”
In a BBC documentary titled “Our World: Philippines – Democracy in Danger?,” Roque said Duterte was cleared by Alston from the killings perpetuated by the DDS.
“Well, he doesn’t support organized human rights community but he has actually been exculpated from claims of mass murders by no less than UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston, and investigated the case of the Davao Death Squad,” Roque said in the documentary.
“It was clear there that he was completely cleared of liability, at most there were administrative lapses perhaps but it was clear from the Alston report that he was not behind the Davao Death Squad. And despite this, people persist in accusing him of being behind the now drug war-related killings,” he added.
BBC said Roque’s statement was an “interesting interpretation” and asked Alston for comment.
Alston disputed Roque’s statements.
“Paragraphs 39-43 of the attached report… clearly implicate Duterte in the killings perpetuated by the Davao Death Squad,” Alson said in a statement to BBC.
Sought for comment, Roque hit the BBC and insisted his remarks were “correct.”
“I also mentioned in the BBC that what the Philip Alston report said was administrative lapses, and it’s there. Will someone please get the relevant paragraph cited by BBC and will you please write a letter to BBC, because they should not have just limited it to mentioning the paragraphs, they should actually have shown what Philip Alston said. And it is clear there that his conclusion is administrative liability for failure to investigate perhaps. So we can refer to the same paragraphs,” he noted during a press brieifing.
“Can someone get it now doon sa BBC, iyong report, iyong paragraph so that we can go through the paragraphs now and see that what I’m saying is correct,” Roque added. /kga
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