Palace takes exception to US State Dept report claiming human rights abuse by PHL security forces

Malacañang described the United States (US) State Department’s report released last year, which claimed Philippine security forces were engaged in human rights abuse.

Acting Presidential Spokesperson Martin M. Andanar said the US agency’s 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices was “devoid of bases” and made use of a “rehash of old and recycled issues” by the critics of the administration.

“These allegations, including violations committed by law enforcement officers in the conduct of the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign, have all been previously addressed,” Andanar said in a brief statement he issued last Sat.  

The report, which was released last Tuesday, accused the government and “non-state actors” of unlawful or arbitrary killings as well as being responsible for the forced disappearances and torture of some people among others. 

Andanar called out the US government for releasing the report without first verifying its contents with concerned local agencies. 

“We strongly suggest that the United States State Department validate reports that reach their office, triangulate the same with all other open and institutional sources, and put to work its political officers in the US embassy in the Philippines who can then properly verify the same with the Philippine government.  Engaged verification is key in all this,” Andanar said. 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of National Defense (DND) already issued similar respective statements condemning the said report. 

PNP said it already dismissed 5,599 erring cops and suspended 10,490 others, who were engaged in human rights abuses. 

For its part, DND called on the US State Department to submit details of its report so it could be verified by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

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