PH police chief Albayalde says Hasan Minhaj was ‘unfair’ towards Duterte admin for criticizing drug war

Hasan Minhaj. Photo: Patriot Act’s Facebook page
Hasan Minhaj. Photo: Patriot Act’s Facebook page

It’s been more than a week since comedian Hasan Minhaj slammed President Rodrigo Duterte and his bloody drug war on his TV show, but Filipinos are still talking about it.

The latest to weigh in on the issue is Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde, who in a press conference today accused Minhaj and the people behind his Netflix show Patriot Act of being unfair to the Duterte administration for criticizing Duterte’s bloody drug war.

In his May 12 segment about Duterte, Minhaj expressed disbelief at how the president remains popular despite reports that his drug war has claimed the lives of thousands of Filipinos. He quoted the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) which said that since 2016, around 27,000 people have been killed in Duterte’s anti-drug campaign.

This goes against the PNP’s estimate that only 5,176 drug suspects have been killed from July 1, 2016 to Jan. 31, 2019.

Minhaj also said that the government “doesn’t seem to care about the human cost” of its anti-drug campaign, which he described as “appalling.”

After being asked by a reporter about the Netflix show during a press conference in Camp Crame in Quezon City, Albayalde said Minhaj should come to the Philippines and see the country’s situation for himself.

“That’s why we challenge people to come here to our country and see for themselves what the situation is in connection with the peace and order, our war against illegal drugs,” said Albayalde in a mix of Filipino and English.

“This (Minhaj’s show) is unfair to our administration, to the ones working for the Philippines, for them to portray us this way in other countries. That’s why [other nationalities] misinterpret or have misconceptions that our country is chaotic,” he said.

At present, the International Criminal Court is conducting a preliminary investigation into the government’s drug war despite the Philippines’ decision to leave the organization in March. For his part, Albayalde said in April that all deaths which resulted from the government’s drug war are being investigated.

“They should come here although we respect that those are jokes … But of course, they should be responsible with their jokes,” Albayalde said.

Albayalde believes that the results of the midterm elections show that a majority of Filipinos still believe in Duterte despite criticisms of his drug war. An overwhelming majority of those likely to win Senate seats are Duterte allies.

“It shows that Filipinos really trust the president, they really trust this administration,” he said.

Last week, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar took issue with many of the things that Minhaj said in his show. Andanar even called Minhaj “gullible” and blasted the comedian for using what the government official said were “erroneous narratives obviously peddled by anti-Duterte haters and trolls.”

Minhaj seemed to take it in stride and even shared the Coconuts Manila story about Andanar with the joke that he would rename the show Erroneous Narratives Peddled by Haters and Trolls with Hasan Minhaj.

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