Philippine government disputes Toronto Sun report on the Philippines

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  • The Philippine government has belied a report published July 16, 2017 in the Toronto Sun about the situation in the Philippines.

    A spokesperson of President Rodrigo Duterte reacted to the report written by Brad Hunter about dangerous cities in the world.

    “The streets of Manila look more like a slaughterhouse than one of the world’s great cities,” the Toronto Sun report claimed.

    “Gangsters kill gangsters over women, drug turf and whatever suits their fancy. Extra-judicial assassinations by President Rodrigo Duterte’s death squads add to the sinister mix.

    “The vigilantes’ tally? An estimated 5,600 dead in just a year,” the paper reported.

    Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Hunter was likely just listening to an “echo chamber”.

    “I think they should come here and experience it’s more fun in the Philippines, right? They should experience the sun, the sand, the beaches… You look around. I mean, from experience, what can you say? Is this a slaughterhouse? Of course not,” Abella said.

    “I think they’ve just been listening to… You know, it just reverberates in the ears, I think. They haven’t really been here, as far as I know. They should,” he added.

    Critics have slammed the alleged extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, which they attributed to Duterte’s war on drugs.

    It has been one year since Duterte, also known as The Punisher, was elected as Philippines’ president in 2016, after riding a platform of suppressing crime, the spread of drugs and corruption.

    Before coming to power, the former mayor had promised a wide range of reforms, including tackling poverty, unemployment and improving the economy.

    Despite taking Filipinos on a promised “rough ride” of drug war killings and foreign policy U-turns, the 72-year-old remains as popular as ever as he marked 12 months in office last June 30.

    According to pollsters at the Social Weather Stations, 80 percent say they have “much trust” with his administration’s performance.

    “People like the man,” Ricardo Abad, the head of sociology and anthropology at Ateneo University in Manila, said in a news report.

    “People may disagree with his policies, or are maybe ambivalent towards them, but because they like him, people will tend to give him the benefit of the doubt,” Abad said.

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