Malacañang on Thursday disputed the report of a Canadian newspaper that claimed the streets of Manila were more “like a slaughterhouse than one of the world’s great cities.”
“Gangsters kill gangsters over women, drug turf and whatever suits their fancy. Extra-judicial assassinations by President Rodrigo Duterte’s death squads add to the sinister mix,” Brad Hunter said in his story published on the Toronto Sun.
“The vigilantes’ tally? An estimated 5,600 dead in just a year,” Hunter added.
But Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Hunter was likely just listening to an “echo chamber.”
“I think they should come here and experience it’s more fun in the Philippines, right? They should experience the sun, the sand, the beaches… You look around. I mean, from experience, what can you say? Is this a slaughterhouse? Of course not,” Abella said.
“I think they’ve just been listening to… You know, it just reverberates in the ears, I think. They haven’t really been here, as far as I know. They should,” he added.
Critics have slammed the rising number of alleged extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, which they attributed to Duterte’s brutal war on drugs.