MANILA—Despite all the noise to put the President down, President Rodrigo Duterte’s focus is on the Filipino people, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Saturday.
“Sa totoo lang po, ano ba talaga ang pursuit, ano ba talaga ang habol ng Presidente kundi isang maayos na bayan. Isang bayan na talagang nararapat para sa ating mga Pilipino,” Abella told Radyo ng Bayan in an interview.
He also shrugged off reports that Senate witnesses, retired police officer Arturo Lascañas and Edgar Matobato, are willing to testify against President Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying the administration has not done any crime that could be tried by the ICC.
“Unang-una po siguro maintindihan natin, ‘yung… mga krimen na pinag-uusapan sa ICC ay may kanya-kanyang klasipikasyon,” Abella said.
“Wala naman tayong kinakalaban na ethnic, racial or religious na mga grupo.”
The Palace official also said that the Duterte administration cannot be faulted for extrajudicial killings.
“Hindi po applicable sa atin ‘yung extrajudicial killings… wala, hindi po applicable. Hindi siya state-sanctioned. Saka ang dini-deal natin dito ay krimen against drugs and dealers and drug addiction and drug dealing… Actually nga, these are just police operations,” he explained.
Abella further said that the Palace is unfazed by reports that the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has formed a new team to reopen the investigation on the so-called Davao Death Squad because Lascañas has already lost his credibility.
“Discredited na po si Lascañas at kung sino man ang kasa-kasama niya eh siyempre, kaduda-duda rin,” he said.