THE Philippine National Police (PNP) slammed on Wednesday, July 31, the Britain-based rights watchdog Global Witness for tagging the Philippines as the most dangerous place for land and environmental activists.
In a statement, PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde said the Global Witness has "missed the point" on the matter.
“The Philippine National Police takes strong exception to the labeling by Global Witness of the Philippines as a deadly nation for land rights. Land dispute has always been a perennial source of conflict among people, and this has been among several motives behind some homicides investigated by the PNP,” he said.
“The reality is that the activities of the local communist movement in the countryside is also a factor in this armed confict over land rights, and many tribal leaders, community officials and government security forces have died protecting land rights against insurgents who want to place these communities under their control,” he added.
In its report, Global Witness said 30 people who defended their homes, lands and natural resources from exploitation in the Philippines were killed in 2018.
Albayalde assured that every incident of violence stemming from whatever motive is promptly investigated by the police with utmost priority. (SunStar Philippines)