Palace blasts Amnesty International; vows PDEA to continue war on drugs

By: Inquirer.net October 14,2017 - 11:11 PM

The assignment of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to be the key implementer of the government’s war on drugs would continue despite being “vilified” by a human-rights group, a Palace official said Saturday.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella blasted Amnesty International (AI) for supposedly “demonizing” President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to take the Philippine National Police (PNP) out of the anti-illegal drug campaign amid stark issues of human-rights violations and extrajudicial killings.

“The (PDEA), which has been recently assigned by PRRD as the sole agency in charge of the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign, is now being demonized by Amnesty International,” Abella said in a statement.

“While Amnesty International is known to be disparaging of the frontline role of the PNP in the anti-illegal drug campaign, now it sees the relief of the agency as a mere public relations stunt. PDEA is the new object of AI’s, and similar groups’ ire and vilification,” he added.

The AI said on Friday that the President’s move was a mere publicity stunt meant to appease the growing clamor and outrage against the violent crackdown.

However controversial, Abella said the anti-illegal drug campaign would continue to “make the Philippines a crime, corruption and illegal drug-free nation.”

“We are hopeful that operations of this agency will not be jeopardized by the interference of outside agencies that fail to appreciate our desire, not for a drug-tolerant, but drug-free nation,” he noted.

PDEA chief Aaron Aquino assured the public on Friday there will be no human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings in the agency’s anti-narcotics operations, and its operatives will strictly observe rules and regulations during raids.

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TAGS: Ernesto Labella, extrajudicial killings, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, PNP, President Rodrigo Duterte, War on drugs

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