Call for United Nations drug war probe scored

July 05, 2019
Salvador Panelo

MALACAÑANG yesterday slammed a draft resolution backed by several countries which called for a United Nations investigation into the killings in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

Duterte’s spokesperson Salvador Panelo reiterated that an international investigation into the deaths attributed to the President’s signature policy initiative would be an interference in the country’s sovereignty.

“Any move that will interfere with...the management of this country by a sitting president elected overwhelmingly by the people to our mind is an interference with our sovereignty,” Panelo told reporters.

“The problem with those who initiated it, they are believing in the false news, the false information, the false narratives initiated and spread by those who hate the President’s guts and political will,” he said.

Backed by more than two dozen states, Iceland has submitted a draft resolution to the UN Human Rights Council calling on the body to prepare a comprehensive written report on the human rights situation in the Philippines.

The document urges the Philippine government to prevent extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, carry out impartial investigations and hold perpetrators accountable in accordance with international norms and standards including on due process and rule of law.

Panelo said other countries had no right to dictate on a sovereign nation like the Philippines.

He also said the authorities had properly documented the operations related to the anti-narcotics campaign, which has killed more than 6,000 suspected drug dealers since Duterte assumed office in June 2016.

The Iceland initiative came weeks after 11 independent experts also urged the UN body to launch an independent investigation into what they called a sharp deterioration in human rights across the Philippines due to “staggering number” of supposed unlawful killings of drug suspects.

Malacañang had rebuffed such call.