Palace spokesman Harry Roque on Thursday claimed that not all human rights groups’ reports on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs contained “gospel truth.” 

Roque made the statement in reaction to a report by watchdog group Human Rights Watch saying anti-drug operations from April to July killed 50 percent more people than the previous four-month span.

“Wala po akong reaksiyon diyan dahil hindi ako sigurado kung anong methodology ang ginawa nila. Hindi ko naman po pupuwedeng tanggapin ang conclusion ng hindi ko nakikita iyong pag-aaral, hindi ko po nakikita kung ano iyong hakbang na ginawa nila para magkaroon ng conclusion,” he said.

Nonetheless, Roque claimed human rights groups often invented reports to turn the public against the government.

“Alalahanin po natin ang Human Rights Watch, ganiyan talaga ang trabaho ng mga human rights groups, mag-ingay para iyong mga gobyerno e pakinggan sila. Pero hindi naman ibig sabihin na lahat ng sinasabi nila ay gospel truth,” he said.

On Sept. 7, newly-installed Philippine National Police chief Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan said there was no such thing as extrajudicial killings.

“First, if you have that notion, come to me, we will investigate…. There’s no such thing as EJK. Wala naman ‘yan e. Everything, the people, the PNP has fought hard to really reduce illegal drugs and it’s a survival for our people,” Cascolan said.

In his weekly national addresses, Duterte has repeatedly ordered Cabinet officials to kill smugglers of illegal drugs.

Duterte, known for his deadly war on drugs, also called anew on Congress to reinstate the death penalty on drug-related crimes in his fifth State of the Nation Address in July. John Ezekiel J. Hirro