Palace rejects Duterte’s “Person of the Year” award

  • This photo taken on October 6, 2017, shows Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte gesturing as he delivers his speech at the turn-over ceremony of the army’s commanding general at Fort Bonifacio in Manila. Duterte’s popularity has suffered a substantial drop for the first time, though it remains at a relatively high 67 percent, an independent pollster has found. / AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE

The non-profit group Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) has named President Rodrigo Duterte its Person of the Year for 2017 for being an individual who has done the most in the world in advancing organized criminal activity and corruption, according to the Philippine Inquirer Online on Sunday (Dec 31).

But it was rejected by the Malacanang Palace with the presidential communications secretary Martin Andanar disputing the contention and insisting that the president had done just the opposite – which is to fight crime by moving to eliminate the illegal drug scourge.

He also defended that Duterte worked to stop drug trafficking and to stop the Philippines from becoming a transshipment point for illegal narcotics.

Andanar said the president fought corruption by firing people in the government who had been linked to corruption and other questionable activities. Not even those close to him were spared, he added.

OCCRP editor Drew Sullivan said Mr Duterte had made mockery of the rule of law in the Philippines.

“The president was not the typical corrupt leader, but had empowered corruption through his supposed death squads that are less discriminating,” he said.

A total of 3,967 people were killed in police anti-drug operations from July 2016 to November 2017.