Palace criticizes New York Times editorial for citing international watchdog’s survey, 'it's all false information and narratives'

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo photo from Philstar (ctto)

Manila, Philippines - Malacañang on Saturday lambasted the New York Times for an editorial piece that based on an international watchdog’s survey that reportedly showed the Philippines as being the “bloodiest” country for land rights activists.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo the editorial was “not surprising.”

“The editorial of the NYT is not surprising since the newspaper has been dishing out false information and narratives on the Philippine situation under the leadership of PRRD,” Panelo said in a statement.

“The American publication has not exerted the research required of responsive journalism. Neither did it conduct an in-depth independent study on such a delicate subject-matter,” he added.

On the New York Times’ editorial piece on Thursday entitled “In the Fight to Save the Planet, Its Defenders Are Being Killed.” It cited a survey by Global Witness which reportedly found that of the 164 land rights activists killed worldwide, 30 were killed in the Philippines.

However, the Palace earlier said the reported rise in the number of killings of land rights activists are caused by the “viciousness” of the claimants.

“Global Witness made it appear that it is the government which is to blame for the situation while failing or omitting to factor the local communist movement and armed conflicts as critical components thereof,” Panelo commented on the survey.

“It has not considered the fact that many of our local authorities, security forces, and even tribal leaders died protecting land rights against communist insurgents who want to control these areas,” he also added.

The New York Times editorial piece described President Duterte as “brutal” which Panelo vehemently denied.

“The President is not brutal. He does not allow any law enforcer to use savage methods in enforcing the law,” Panelo defended. “Anyone who goes against police protocols in effecting the arrest and complying with court orders are prosecuted administratively and criminally.” He added.

“The President is very strict in enforcing the law. No friendship, alliances or blood relationship temper nor impede this enforcement. No one is spared from the harsh application of the law.”
Panelo said.

The Presidential Spokesperson also said that in the Duterte presidency, unlike those before, following the law, "is not an option but requires absolute obedience to it.”

“The governance of the President is based on his constitutional duty to serve and protect the Filipino people. No force on earth nor the baseless condemnation from the outside world will chain or halt this President from performing the constitutional command of protecting the nation and preserving the Republic.” Panelo added.

Source: Inquirer

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