Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo speaks to the press on Monday, July 15, 2019.

The Philippines is a dangerous place from criminals, Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said on Monday.

Reacting on a report tagging the Philippines as the fourth most dangerous place in the world for civilians, Panelo told reporters: “Mapanganib ang bansa sa mga criminal, sa mga corrupt, sa mga kasama sa sindikato ng droga (The country is dangerous for criminals, the corrupt, and those involved in drug syndicates).”

Kasi hindi naman hihinto ang ating law enforment sa mga kriminal at drug pusher, who are destroying the fabric of our society (Because our law enforcement will not stop against the criminals and drug pushers, who are destroying the fabric of our society),” he added.

The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project has ranked the Philippines the fourth most dangerous place in the world, as there have been nearly 450 direct attacks targeting civilians resulting in nearly 490 deaths since the start of 2019. The group attributed the violence to the government’s drug war.

Panelo accused critics anew of inflating the number of deaths in the war on drugs, to 27,000, which he said included deaths unrelated to legitimate anti-drug operations.

The official count stood at about 5,000 deaths in police anti-drug raids, Panelo said.

Proof that the police acted on self-defense was that nearly 100 uniformed men have also been killed, while 700 were seriously injured, he said.

“Why do they not consider that?” Panelo asked. (