WATCH | Ping, Bato tell Leni to prove, correct claims about PH drug war in UN video
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MANILA - Two fact-checking challenges were hurled at Vice-President Leni Robredo for some allegations she made against the administration's war on drugs in her videotaped statement to a United Nations panel.
The first, from Sen. Panfilo Lacson, appealed to Robredo to correct some misleading numbers she provided the UN panel, particularly the impression she created that all of the 8,000 deaths associated with the campaign were extra-judicial killings.
In a separate development, National Police Chief, Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa on Monday dared Robredo to show proof that policemen are involved in the ‘palit-ulo’ scheme that supposedly victimizes innocent relatives of drug offenders from poor communities. Under that scheme, police swooping down on a targeted area but fail to find the original subject of the operation would seize instead any family member or relative of the suspect who just happens to be in the place; hence, the term "palit ulo[ swapping of heads]."
In a press briefing after Monday’s flag-raising at Camp Crame, Dela Rosa denied that the PNP was practicing a “palit-ulo” scheme as claimed by Robredo in aher video message to a UN conference in Austria.
“‘Yung Palit-ulo na version na sinasabi ng Vice President dine-deny ko ‘yan. Kung meron mang kaso na ganyan, I have yet to receive a complaint about that,” Dela Rosa said.
Police insiders said that the police practice of “palit-ulo” scheme is different: where minor suspects are allowed to go free if they can lead authorities to the much “bigger fish.”
The PNP chief challenged Robredo, who is a lawyer, to present to him supposed perpetrators of the human rights abuses in some communities.
Dela Rosa did not hide his dismay at the allegation that innocent people were taken as proxies for the absent suspect: “You can just imagine yung version niya ng hulihin yung nanay o ‘yung tatay tapos pag di makita yung suspect o kaya yung kapatid? Napakagago naman ng pulis na yan,” Dela Rosa said.
He said that if such a policeman were presented to him, he would beat him black and blue.
'Robredo just speaking truth'
Robredo's spokesperson Georgina Hernandez, meanwhile, insisted that the Vice President's video only stated the condition of the Philippines.
She said that the summary killings have long attracted international attention.
Robredo should correct figures - Lacson
Meanwhile, Senator Lacson on Sunday took to social media his disappointment over the Robredo video.
Lacson said that Robredo should correct the figures she mentioned in her video stating that "more than 7,000 people have been killed in summary executions" since the drug war started in July 2016.
Data from the PNP said 2,582 were killed in legitimate drug operations while the remaining 4,049 were considered deaths under investigation.
Lacson rued that Robredo did not bother to mention that there were police personnel killed and injured in the same drug war.
“She reported to the UN that 7,000 were summarily executed. Fact is, government side suffered 38 casualties in 2,000 police operations. She should correct it,” Lacson said in his official Twitter account.
He clarified that he had no agenda except “fairness based on facts.”
“I've no agenda except fairness based on facts. We owe it to the 28 PNP and AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) personnel killed and 86 wounded in action as of Jan 28, 2017,” he added.
LP leading her to quicksand?
The senator, meanwhile, pointed out that Robredo’s party mates in the Liberal Party (LP) were apparently using her and leading her to her downfall.
“They are leading her to the quicksand to advance their own political interests. I hope she realizes it sooner than later…Sayang (What a waste),” Lacson said.
Earlier, former delegate to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Francis Acebedo Lopez also hit Robredo for "misrepresenting" millions of Filipinos in her video.
Lopez noted that Robredo "wantonly painted an impossibly grim image of the Philippine situation if only to attract international attention and action with unfounded claims and unsubstantiated allegations".
He said Robredo "has not only embarrassed our country, she has betrayed the public trust and committed economic sabotage, both punishable under Philippine laws".
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