Press Release
October 4, 2018

De Lima slams Cayetano, Roque spin on BBC documentary

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has denounced Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano for spinning the significance of the BBC documentary about Mr. Duterte's murderous war on drugs.

De Lima, the staunchest critic of the administration's war on drugs, described Roque and Cayetano as Duterte's leading sycophants who are both willing to peddle lies about the President if it means propelling their political career to greater heights.

"The spin of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on the BBC documentary 'Philippines: Democracy in Danger' is only expected," she said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No.396.

"As Duterte's leading sycophants who have sold their soul and past reputation in exchange for ambition, both Roque and Cayetano can no longer move their lips without lying," she added.

Entitled "Philippines: Democracy in Danger?", the documentary by BBC News Philippines correspondent Howard Johnson aired last Sept. 29 tackled Duterte's persecution of critics - including De Lima � and his supposed repression of the media.

Based on media reports, Cayetano said the documentary "amounts to nothing more than anti-Duterte propaganda, more worthy of tabloid journalism and gossip than the venerable institution that we thought BBC was."

Roque insisted he cited a report by then-UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Philip Alston, supposedly clearing Duterte, then the mayor of Davao City, of liability in killings attributed to the Davao Death Squad.

The Senator from Bicol said Cayetano's reputation precedes him whenever he speaks in the world stage, like the United Nations (UN) General Assembly or its Human Rights Council.

"Nobody in the diplomatic world really takes him seriously, simply because of his capacity to insult the intelligence of international officials and country representatives with his barefaced lies about how Duterte is saving the Philippines by killing the poor," she said.

"Between BBC and Cayetano, the world knows who spews out garbage like a tabloid, because that is what comes out of Cayetano's mouth every time he takes to the world stage," she added.

On Roque, De Lima said she believes he was able to read Alston's Report, but he simply chose to lie about the portion of the said Report which pointed out that the Davao summary killings were most probably "officially-sanctioned".

"Alston further stated that Duterte's position that his various statements urging the killing of criminals has no effect on police conduct is 'frankly untenable.'" According to Alston, this is because Duterte 'dominates the city so thoroughly' as to be 'powerless in the face of hundreds of murders committed by men without masks in view of witnesses,'" she said.

"This is not an exculpation. This is an indictment. Roque knows this fully well. He was one of the leading human rights lawyers of the Philippines at the time of the Alston Report, or at least that was what he pretended to be," she added.

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