World Bulletin / News Desk
President Rodrigo Duterte addressed the concerns, Thursday, raised by the 39 member states of the United Nations to the thousands of killings during his war on drugs by saying there is no culture of impunity in the country and it will not allow foreign dictation.
Duterte’s bloody drug war has been repeatedly criticized by the UN and other rights groups globally.
The 39 member-states of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum-Asia) includes Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, and Italy. The Netherlands, UK, Ukraine, and United States expressed concern, “about the thousands of killings and climate of impunity associated with the war on drugs” in the Philippines.
“While it is true that 39 countries have expressed concern over drug-related killings, the fact remains that the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the highest peer review body in the world on all matters of human rights, unanimously accepted and commended the Outcome Report on the Philippines’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR),” according to statement of Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella.
“Unfortunately, it still appears that some parties refuse to understand certain aspects of our human rights efforts. So let us be clear. There is no culture of impunity in the Philippines. The State is investigating all credible allegations of human rights violations by all its agents and will continue to do so, consistent with our Constitution and laws, and in compliance with the spirit of our national traditions of liberty and democracy,” Abella added.
Echoing Foreign Minister Alan Peter Cayetano’s stance earlier this week, Abella clarified that the government does not tolerate abuses committed by the police forces.
“The truth is, our justice system does not tolerate any state-sponsored extrajudicial killings. All these accusations of EJKs and circumventing police procedures should be proven in a competent court and, if found meritorious, should result in appropriate sanctions against the perpetrators. Failing these, such claims are mere hearsay,” Abella said.
“Rest assured that we will be unswerving in carrying out our duty to protect our people from the scourges of drugs, corruption and criminality so that with inclusive development and social justice, they may attain lives of dignity in a prosperous nation. To achieve these ends, we will always be happy to accept the help of our foreign friends. But we will never accept dictation on how we are managing our own internal domestic processes,” he added.
In a separate statement issued by Cayetano, currently in Washington after attending the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, he condemned the criticism which is biased and based on questionable information.
"It is very unfortunate that instead of engaging us constructively, some western countries would rather criticize and impose conditions as if they can do a better job than the Philippine government in protecting the Filipino people," said Cayetano.
The Philippine Mission to the United Nations in Geneva also denounced the statement which he described as “sweeping and politicized”.Last Mod: 30 Eylül 2017, 10:16