Cayetano blasts BBC

October 03, 2018
Alan Peter S. Cayetano

FOREIGN Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano yesterday lashed back at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for showing a “misleading” documentary on the Philippines’ anti-illegal drugs campaign and urged the company to present a “balanced and accurate” report in the future.

“The documentary that the British Broadcasting Corporation aired on September 29 in Our World—Philippines: Democracy in Danger?—amounts to nothing more than anti-Duterte propaganda, more worthy of tabloid journalism and gossip than the venerable institution that we thought BBC was,” Cayetano said.

He said the episode misleads viewers about President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-illegal drug strategy, which is actually making Philippine society safer, healthier, and more prosperous for the Filipino people.

Cayetano said the documentary failed to mention that the strategy is a diversified and community-based approach that includes enforcement, rehabilitation, and reintegration.

The DFA head said the episode also made little mention of the sheer magnitude of the drug problem in the Philippines, the enormous damage to millions of families caused by addiction, and the fact that police are under strict orders to follow the law in the conduct of the campaign against illegal drugs.

“The episode did not take into consideration the actions taken by the Duterte administration against police officers and other government personnel involved in the illegal drug trade, “Cayetano said.

“If BBC did its homework, it would have known that as of 31 August 2018, we have arrested 576 government workers, including elected officials and uniformed personnel, while another 498 are being investigated for drug-related cases. We have also dismissed 105 uniformed personnel for drug-related offenses. More importantly, from 1 July 2016 to August 31, 2018, we have dismantled a total of 235 drug dens and clandestine laboratories; seized P24.12 billion worth of illegal drugs and drug-related items; and cleared 8,444 barangays or villages of illegal drugs,” Cayetano said.

He said the report presented a one-sided picture of Sen. Leila de Lima, Sen. Antonio Trillanes, and former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.