Palace decries joint statement by 3 UN special rapporteurs on "killings" in Philippines
Malacanang denounced on Friday the joint statement issued by the three United Nations special rapporteurs calling for prompt and impartial investigations into alleged increasing number of killings in the government's anti-drug operations.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reiterated the Duterte administration does not and will never condone extrajudicial and vigilante killings and does not tolerate human rights violations.
"We therefore decry the Special Rapporteurs who signed the joint statement for making negative assumptions about the country despite our explanations to the contrary," he said.
"Even as we continue to respect the UN Special Procedures mechanism, we will not allow these biased individuals parading themselves as human rights experts to abuse such a mechanism to bully States by concocting falsehoods," Roque stressed.
UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard; special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders Michel Forst ; and special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Diego Garc?a-Say?n, in a joint statement, said there should be "prompt, impartial investigations into the high number of killings in the context of the anti-drugs campaign, to bring the perpetrators to justice, and thoroughly review its current policy in this regard, with a view to stopping further attacks taking place.”
The rapporteurs said many killings in the Philippines "appear to be perpetrated by law enforcement officials and by unknown assailants."
"This seems to indicate a climate of official, institutional impunity, which can only encourage further killings and other excessive use of lethal force by law enforcement personnel or those acting on their behalf or with their acquiescence,” they said.
To show that the president does not condone extrajudicial killings, Roque said this was seen when an entire city police force of Caloocan Police District was relieved after violations in operational procedures.
"This is a proof that we investigate and punish erring policemen and hence, discharged our state obligation to protect and promote human rights. We believe that accountability is an indispensable part of good governance and the president himself made a clear stance that legitimate operations follow protocols," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS