STATEMENT ON WASHINGTON POST’S ARTICLE
25 February 2019
We take strong exception to the article entitled, “This is Manila” that appeared on the front page of the Washington Post on 25 February 2019. It is disappointing how this article hides behind the guise of journalism to advance an agenda that seeks to discredit the Philippines in the eyes of the international community. Contrary to what its title hopes to provoke, the article paints a picture not of Manila, but of a hasty generalization that has no foundation in reality.
Unsurprisingly, the article fails to mention that majority of the Filipino people continue to back their government in the fight against illegal drugs. The latest survey by the Social Weather Stations shows that 8 in 10 Filipinos are satisfied with the Government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign. A survey by another Philippine pollster, Pulse Asia, puts public support for the campaign at 77% among Metro Manila residents.
Reduced criminality is a major driver of public support. According to the data of the Philippine National Police (PNP), total crime volume has gone down from 675,816 in 2015 to 473,068 in 2018, or a total decrease of 30%. In particular, the incidence of focus crimes such as homicide, physical injury, and rape, has shown a marked decrease during the same period. The PNP believes that there is a strong correlation between illegal drug use and focus crimes.
Those tasked to enforce the law are also subject to it. From January 2016 to December 2018, 9,102 erring police personnel were meted disciplinary penalties including dismissal from service, demotion, suspension, forfeiture of salary, reprimand, restriction and withholding of privileges. More than 7,000 received warnings, bringing the total number of disciplined personnel to 16,391 or 8% of the entire police force.
As a nation that cherishes freedom, democracy and justice, and as a responsible member of the international community, the Philippines upholds the rule of law and human rights in all its endeavors. We will continue to engage in sincere, constructive, and evidence-based dialogue with our international partners in the pursuit of common goals and mutual interests.