As with any other program, the government can’t claim to be perfect in its anti-narcotics crackdown, Malacañang said Monday, after the Justice Department released information that indicated foul play in dozens of drug killings at the hands of policemen under the Duterte administration.
“Like any other government program, we cannot claim to be perfect,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said. “But what we are saying is the deeds of a few rotten eggs should not affect the whole program. Nothing is perfect.”
Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday said the Department of Justice report confirms there were “many lapses” in the drug war, including the lack of evidence that suspects were killed because they resisted arrest.
The DOJ findings, however, prove that the Philippines “is undertaking and performing its obligation insofar as the right to life is concerned,” Roque said.
The Philippines has come under pressure from the United Nations to probe allegations of systematic murders of drug suspects, and the International Criminal Court recently announced it would investigate President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug campaign.
Duterte last week said he takes “full responsibility” for the campaign, saying: “If there is any person who is going to prison, it would be me.”
More than 6,000 people have been killed by police in the crackdown, but activists say many thousands more drug users and peddlers were shot dead by mysterious gunmen. Police have denied involvement in those deaths.
Duterte, whose six-year term ends next year, remained defiant, citing a continued scourge of drug dealers in the country.
He said he would only face a Philippine court and a Philippine judge over any alleged crimes.
“I will repeat what I have said before: if you destroy my country and you destroy the young people by feeding them with drugs, you destroy the future,” Duterte said.