President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesperson claimed that the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General believed the “incorrect news reports,” making it appear that Duterte is actually endorsing extrajudicial killings.
Salvador Panelo said that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s condemnation of Duterte’s “apparent endorsement” of extrajudicial killing was based on a wrong perception.
“It is unfortunate that the UN Secretary-General has issued a statement condemning what he perceives to be an endorsement by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte of extrajudicial killings,” Panelo said in a statement.
On Thursday, Ban said he felt "extremely disturbed" by the recent remarks of the incoming Philippine president and said he "unequivocally condemns" Duterte's seeming endorsement of extrajudicial killings.
“Obviously, [Ban] believed the incorrect news reports that gave rise to such wrong perception,” he added.
The incoming presidential spokesman said the wrong perception came about due to “incorrect” reporting of Duterte’s remarks.
“Consequently, he chastises media persons who practice irresponsible journalism. The president-elect reiterates his fealty to the Constitution as well as his determination to suppress criminality in any form,” Panelo said.
In one of his press conferences, Duterte said that corrupt journalists are “legitimate targets of assassination” and that most journalists killed have been involved in corrupt practices.
The incoming President has also encouraged civilians to arrest drug traffickers and even shoot them if they resist arrest.
Reacting to Ban’s statement that extrajudicial killings is “a breach of fundamental rights and freedoms,” Duterte’s spokesperson said that the President-elect has never endorsed such acts and would never do because they are against the law.
“He [Duterte] does not condone the killing of journalists nor any citizen for that matter, regardless of its purpose. As President he is bound by his constitutional duty to enforce the law, and under no circumstances will he deviate from it,” Panelo said.
He also claimed that the Bill of Rights enshrined in the Philippine Constitution will be in “full bloom” under the Duterte administration.