Sec. Abella lambasted Risa Hontiveros :We hope that Hontiveros should judge the President not by the word that he says, but for what he stands for

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella warned the public to be vigilant of the planned NPA attacks against the public. He said that the nature of these attacks is to get money from civilians.

"Para po sa perspective ng militar, ang mga gawain po na mga planned attacks na ito ng mga NPA are all extortion-related," Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.

He stated these warnings during the Mindanao Hour briefing on July 1, Saturday, over Radyo Pilipinas. He further stated that these attacks will probably take place on people-oriented programs and infrastructure projects.

"We wish to forewarn the public of the reported planned attacks of the NPA on people-oriented programs and infrastructure projects and request the citizenry of Mindanao and everyone else in the country to be on the alert and on the lookout," Abella stated.

"We also appeal to everyone to share information with authorities on suspicious persons and activities in their communities. Sabi nga po nila, if we can work together, we can prevent these extorition-related activities," Abella further stated.

Spokesperson Abella also clarified and corrected the statistics of casualties that was previously reported. He said that the civilians killed are at 39, which is lower than the number previously reported.

"According to the Scene of the Crime --- SOCO report's correction, 'yung ni-report po na, for the previous 17 cadavers recovered 17 days ago is actually po, actually 12 po pala upon full examination. So 'yung verified are only 12 cadavers," he clarified.

In addition, Abella provided updates about the situation in Mindanao. According to him, the rescued civilians are now at 1, 713. Meanwhile, there are 82 casualties from the military and police force and 317 from the terrorist groups.

In the same radio briefing, Abella defended President Rodrigo Duterte against the remarks made by Senator Risa Hontiveros stating that the first year of Duterte's term was allegedly a year of misogyny.

Spokesperson Abella reiterated that the President actually stands for women and created programs for the welfare of women, when he was still mayor of Davao City.

"We hope that Senator Hontiveros should judge the President not by the word that he says, but for what he stands for, tsaka po 'yung talagang tinatayuan nila," Abella said.

Abella mentioned the projects made by then the President when he was still mayor of Davao City. Among the programs include the local version of the Reproductive Health Bill in Davao City, Women's Code by the Davao City Council made way back in 1997, the creation of the Davao City's Council for Women which monitors assaults and cases against women in the 128 barangays around Davao City, as well as the Women and Children Protection Unit established at the Southern Philippines Medical Center to provide psychological support to victims.

"If only the Senator would really look and not just make comments based on prejudgments and kneejerk reactions, I would say that... we would be in a better place," Abella added.

Senator Risa Hontiveros is known for her firm stand on LGBTQ rights and human rights. She has also stated her concern on the Martial Law proclamation in Mindanao, in fear of human rights violations against the civilians.