Andanar declares success in drug war


FOREIGN critics need to first check their “moral ascendancy” before condemning President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody campaign against illegal drugs that has claimed nearly 3,000 lives, Malacañang said on Sunday.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar made the statement over government-run Radyo ng Bayan as he declared the anti-drug war a “success,” a day after Duterte’s return to the country from a tumultuous first international engagement that saw the Philippine leader clash with US President Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon over human rights.

“The police operations are a success. But there have also been gang wars or internecine [conflicts]where they eliminate each other,” Andanar said.

He said such killings were under investigation by the police.

Andanar was reacting to police reports showing that more than 41 people were being killed each day under the Duterte administration’s anti-crime campaign.


Asked on what were the gains made during Duterte’s participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summits in Laos and a working visit to Indonesia, Andanar said: “The President was able to communicate our interests in exports, imports, maritime security, and that our country will now be following an independent foreign policy.”

“And when it comes to questions of human rights [violations], before we ask … it is not a matter of questioning human rights [violations]. It is a matter of do they have the moral ascendancy to ask about human rights [violations],” Andanar said.

For Andanar, the President did the country proud by taking the United States to task for the massacre of Moros in Mindanao during the pacification campaign of American colonizers a century ago.

“The President made us proud because he fought for our rights and at the same time, he revealed the acts of the imperialists and our colonial masters in the past. We are for an independent foreign policy because we are a sovereign state. We should get up on our feet and wave our flag,” he argued.

“The President was able to convey that we want increased trade among the Asean nations, and we called for rule of law, including that of the Permanent Court of Arbitration,” Andanar added.

The Cabinet official was referring to the July 12 ruling of an international arbitration tribunal that favored the Philippines over China in a maritime dispute over West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). The tribunal junked China’s claims over the area based on its “nine-dash line” map, including those covered by the Philippines’ 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone

“We should stand by for his (Duterte’s) next trips. Within the month, I believe he will be visiting two more countries for a working visit,” Andanar said.

On Monday last week, Duterte launched an expletive-laden tirade against the US and Obama before leaving for the Asean summits, which aides said was triggered by reports that the US President would “lecture” him on human rights.

The White House cancelled a bilateral meeting between Duterte and Obama that was supposed to take place last Tuesday after the Philippine President’s tirades.

Obama reportedly did not shake hands with Duterte after the East Asia Summit in Vientiane on Thursday, after the Philippine leader brought up the history of the US occupation of the Philippines.

Gang wars

Also on Sunday, Andanar dubbed a “success” the bloody crime war that has claimed nearly 3,000 lives in the Philippines in just two months under Duterte.

But Andanar insisted many of those slain have been killed in “gang wars” and not by shadowy vigilantes allegedly encouraged by the President, as critics have alleged.

Duterte, who took office on June 30 after winning election on a promise to kill tens of thousands of criminals, has vowed to press his campaign, despite growing international criticism.

By the end of last week, at least 1,466 people have been killed by police in anti-drug operations since Duterte took office, police spokesman Sr. Supt. Dionardo Carlos said.

Another 1,490 are classified as “deaths under investigation” referring to people murdered in suspicious circumstances, many of them shot by suspected vigilantes or found dead with crude signs labeling them drug-pushers or criminals.

The government has insisted that those killed by police died because they resisted arrest.

However human rights groups charge that Duterte has been actively encouraging extra-judicial killings, telling police that he will protect them from punishment while urging civilians to kill drug pushers in their community.
United Nations officials, human rights groups, local Catholic Church leaders and some legislators have criticized Duterte’s harsh campaign, saying it is eroding rule of the law in the Philippines.


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  1. Andanar, who are you to say that drug campaign by Duterte is a success..3000 killed Filipinos are drug addicts Poor kids,,why release the big Fish drug Lords,, Duterte and Bato has no Balls to put them in solitary cell…go and hunt those big time drug lords and not the poor addicts and pushers… Move your Asses

  2. We need to understand that PDU30 is fighting war on drugs with limited budget, and a remnants from previous administration. The humongous budget that is needed for this war on drugs was not anticipated and the magnitude of users that surrendered was more than the government can handle, as far as rehabilitation and punishment are concerned. If there were no extrajudicial killings, the Public Attorney’s Office would be flooded with requests for public lawyers to defend the poor in courts, and government resources will be exhausted in no time. Therefore, it is absolutely correct, that only the poor are killed in drug operations, but the lords, such as Lt. Col. Marcelino, a Marine officer that was caught in action, with his hands inside the cookie jar, was able to afford high caliber lawyer like Atty. Manalo, and probably few more millions was spent on the judge(s) who set him free. It is absolutely correct also, that in the Philippines, laws are not equally applied to everybody, because the scale of justice is tipped, whoever has the Mighty Money.

    • Lt. Col. Marcelino was sitting on a couch in a house with over 300 million peso worth of drug making supplies when arrested and the government let him go for lack of evidence. A poor person in the Philippines will get life in prison for 100p worth of drugs while the big dealers get the charges dropped.

  3. The best answer that Duterte on extra judicial killing is , we are investigating these killings and will prosecute the guilty party. Duterte actions only says that Duterte is responsible but the truth of the matter is there is no proof that Duterte is responsible.

    • On the day he was sworn into office, June 30, Duterte urged people living in a Manila slum to kill drug addicts in their community.
      “If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”

      His handpicked police chief, Ronald dela Rosa, last month called for drug addicts to kill traffickers and burn down their

      A statement from the president picked up worldwide and his police chief is proof enough.

  4. Which is worse, the police killing criminals as what is happening in PH or the police killing innocent people due to skin color as what is happening in the US?

    • The Police and citizens of the Philippines are killing innocent people in the Philippines, no trials just hang a sign on them saying they were drug addicts (case closed). Lets not forget the people being killed in the police station after they are arrested in the Philippines.

  5. True, the duterte government succeeded in murdering about 3,000 people. But not one of them is a certified drug lord. The victims were just poor alleged drug pushers and addicts. The state security forces became death squads and more are to be killed. Killing filipinos by filipinos is abominable. Instead, we should fight china which is now colonizing philippine territory and the source of illegal drugs. Those chinese drug lords supplying the philippines are very few in numbers. Why kill thousands of filipinos for a few chinese drug lords?

    • the lords do not live in ph. it’s the local aparatos and market of drugs which ph gov can only destroy,hence, karamihan mga pinoy, mga local players. drugs is multi billion if not trillion dollar industry, malawak ang sakop nito in international market. they could topple or control any gov’t if they wish but they will do that in a very covert way. previous admin was a classic example. druggies are having their heydays, they are protected. kayat lomobo nang husto…

  6. When is Duterte going to go after the thieves in Congress that stole the pork barrel fund, the Dap fund, the Yolanda fund or is this going to continue to be a war where only the poor are targeted ?