Palace calls 'demonization attempt' vs Duterte move by other countries urging UN to probe killings
Malacanang branded on Friday as "demonization attempt" against President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration the call of several countries for the United Nations to investigate the killings of thousands of drug suspects in the Philippines.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, however, said that such a move, which he also called as interference on the country's sovereignty, would fail.
"Our response to such calls is unchanged. No government of any nation knows the actual and real state of our country’s domestic affairs better than this Government. Any attempt therefore by any foreign country to interfere with how this Government maintains its peace and order, not only is an affront to their intellect but an interference with the country’s sovereignty as well," said Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel.
"Even as we expect this latest demonization attempt against the President and this Administration to fail, we ask some state-members of the UN to be more circumspect in evaluating reports concerning the domestic affairs of other countries in order that they may demonstrate respect to the latter’s sovereignty and independence," he stressed.
Reports said over two dozens of countries, mostly European states, have asked UN Human Rights Council to probe into the killings in the Philippines due to Duterte's war on drugs.
Panelo said foreign governments have been "misled by false news and untruthful narratives" about Duterte's war against illegal narcotics.
He insisted the drug-related deaths were neither state-initiated nor sponsored, citing that based on the Philippine National Police's data, there were only over 5,000 deaths contrary to the 27,000 figures cited by the critics.
"These (over 5,000) drug-related deaths are consequences of police operations when the subjects violently resist arrest that endanger the lives of the law enforcers who act on self-defense, which is sanctioned by law," Panelo said.
He said that in some police operations, there were also cops who have been killed, citing the recent incident in Rodriguez, Rizal.
A policeman and a 3-year old girl were among those killed in the anti-drug operation last Sunday.
"We're very sad that a 3-year old passed away," Panelo told reporters.
He said the child could have been caught in the crossfire.
But investigation has been ongoing into the incident, he added.
Panelo stressed that the Duterte administration "respects human rights."
"The Philippines has working mechanisms and domestic processes, including those adopted by our law enforcement sectors and inter-agency groups, to address this aspect in our bout against prohibited drugs. We also have a robust judicial system which soundly operates," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS