Philippines to "explain" anti-drug war to UN human rights council

The Philippines will explain President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal campaign against illegal drugs to the United Nations amid mounting criticisms, an official said Wednesday

Philippine Ambassador to the UN Cecilia Rebong also plans to stress that the government does not condone extrajudicial killings when she addresses the 33rd UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva.

“Basically our statement is to explain that President Duterte was elected by a large number of Filipino voters on a platform of peace and order and we should also explain the situation of the drug problem, the extent,” said Charles Jose, Foreign Affairs Department spokesman.

UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has criticized Duterte’s “striking lack of understanding” of rights institutions and called for an investigation into the drug-related deaths.

According to police statistics, 1,466 suspected drug users and dealers have been killed in police operations between July 1 and September 10. Police also recorded 1,490 deaths during the same period which are still being investigated.

Jose said Rebong would inform the UN of the “inroads” made within the first two months of the government’s anti-drug campaign.

“Some casualties were victims of police operation and so they are not victims of extrajudicial killings and the others are victims of summary execution and we don’t condone this,” he said.

“In fact, President Duterte wants this investigated,” he added.

When asked if the Philippines would allow the UN to investigate the deaths under the anti-drug campaign, Jose said, “That remains to be seen.”

Zeid has demanded access to the Philippines to check on the killings, noting, “Empowering police forces to shoot to kill any individual whom they claim to suspect of drug crimes, with or without evidence, undermines justice.”

Last update: Wed, 14/09/2016 - 15:28

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