Palace finds US docfilm on drug war ‘reeks with malice’
By Jelly Musico
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – Malacañang on Tuesday blasted as “derogatory and biased” a US documentary film narrating the Duterte administration’s campaign against the illegal drug problem in the country.
“We find this derogatory and biased, if not outright fiction,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press statement.
“It is obvious that the film medium is riding on the coattails of the President’s international popularity and success, and is being used as a medium to espouse one-sided information bordering to black propaganda aimed at gullible foreign audiences who know little or zero-knowledge about the Philippines and its government,” he added.
Panelo said the docufilm “evidently” has been deliberately overdramatized for the purpose of creating a better cinematic experience for its audience “apart from putting the Philippines in a bad light”.
“Based on the trailer of – as well as the commentaries on – the American docufilm, “On the President’s Orders,” it appears that the same is the latest addition to these unmitigated vilifications,” Panelo said.
“Even the title of the docufilm reeks with malice, making it appear that the drug-related deaths were done upon the orders of [Duterte],” he added.
Panelo cautioned the “potential viewers” to be circumspect in evaluating the truthfulness of the film.
“Foreign audiences have been saturated with false and baseless narratives relative to the Philippine government’s anti-narcotics approach, specifically on the nature and number of deaths arising from police operations against it,” he said.
The Palace spokesperson defended the government’s war on drugs which, he said, “is anchored primarily on national security and public safety.”
“Those who will watch the movie are advised and informed that the Philippines is an archipelago where the illegal drug trade is a billion-peso industry, in that 97% of small villages which we call barangays, have or had already been infiltrated,” he said.
He maintained that “drug-related killings are absolutely not state-initiated nor state-sponsored” but results from violent resistance on the part of those sought to be arrested by the police agents.
“Proof of which is the death of scores of policemen and serious injuries to hundreds of others,” Panelo said.
“The President, as strict enforcer of the law, does not tolerate abusive police officers. They are not – and will never be – exempted from administrative sanction and criminal prosecution should there be an abuse on their part. As he stated in his first State of the Nation Address, those who abuse their authority will have hell to pay,” Panelo said.
The docufilm will reportedly debut at Cinema Village in New York on Oct. 4 and Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles on Oct. 18. (PNA)