President Rodrigo Duterte will leave a legacy of a “safe and secure Philippines” when his term ends on June 30, Malacanang said.
Acting presidential spokesperson Martin Andanar made the statement after the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) reported that Duterte’s legacy will be a culture of impunity for violations in his “war on drugs.”
“While we see a rehash of old issues in the report of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) that have already been responded to, we are pleased that this body has independently exercised its mandate — a testament to how the Duterte Administration has allowed our democratic civic space to be enriched under his term,” the Palace official said in a statement.
The CHR said that Duterte will leave a government that has “failed in its obligations to protect human rights” and “encouraged a culture of impunity” by preventing investigations from independent bodies as well as bringing to trial police officers implicated in crimes committed during his six-year war against drugs.
“In contrast to what a handful of critics would want the international community to hear and read about our country, the Duterte Administration leaves a legacy of a safe and secure Philippines,” Andanar said.
“Foreigners who come to the country as tourists are seeing how safe our streets and communities are,” he said.
Andanar said this only affirms “the more than half drop in the crime rate since Duterte took office in 2016, and validated by his high satisfaction, performance, approval and trust ratings at the end of his presidency.”
The CHR, in its 48-page report, urged the Office of the President to revise or remove the exceptions used as the basis to deny the commission access to police records.
The Internal Affairs Service of the Philippine National Police, Department of Justice, and the Office of the Ombudsman were also asked to conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation of erring police officers and to file appropriate charges.
“Nonetheless, we ask the CHR to coordinate with the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat so that its recommendations may be discussed with all the government offices it has put to task,” the Palace added.