Malacañang on Saturday denied reports alleging that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the police to hide results of investigations on activists’ deaths from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

“There is no truth to the alleged report that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte instructed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to not release or share their information to the Commission on Human Rights regarding the recent attacks against right defenders and activists,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.

Roque was responding to CHR Commissioner Leah Tanodra-Armamento’s claim that a Duterte-ordered information embargo had slowed the commission’s investigations on the deaths of activists from 2017 to 2019.

Tanodra-Armamento said the probes had yet to be completed as “there is an order from the President himself not to give the Commission on Human Rights data.”

But Roque claimed Duterte continued to “adhere to the rule of law.”

“As an officer of the court, being a lawyer, the President adheres to the rule of law and he wants the wheels of justice to grind, for the sake of the victims of abuse and violence and their families,” he said.

“The administration is equally interested to unmask those behind these brazen killings, which are being blamed [on] state agents, and we will leave no stone unturned to put these people behind bars,” he added.

Duterte’s presidency has been marked by a deadly war on drugs and a clampdown against dissenters. John Ezekiel J. Hirro