Philip­pines tells world to butt out

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE Philip­pines’ for­eign sec­re­tary pushed back against crit­i­cism of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s drug war, telling the United Na­tions not to in­ter­fere.

“We urge ev­ery­one to al­low us to deal with our do­mes­tic chal­lenges in or­der to achieve our na­tional goals, with­out un­due in­ter­fer­ence,” Per­fecto Yasay told the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly.

There has been grow­ing in­ter­na­tional alarm over the ris­ing death toll from Mr Duterte’s crack­down on crime, with hu­man rights groups say­ing that se­cu­rity forces are en­gag­ing in ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings, a charge which the Philip­pines de­nies.

Mr Duterte won elec­tions in a land­slide in May af­ter vow­ing to erad­i­cate the il­le­gal drug trade in six months, and promis­ing that 100,000 crim­i­nals would be killed in the process.

Since he took of­fice on June 30 about 3000 peo­ple have been killed, about one-third of them sus­pects shot dead by po­lice and the rest by uniden­ti­fied at­tack­ers, ac­cord­ing to po­lice sta­tis­tics.

The top diplo­mat told the Gen­eral As­sem­bly that Mr Duterte en­joyed a 92 per­cent ap­proval rat­ing at home for his stance and sug­gested that his cam­paign was mis­un­der­stood.

He ar­gued that cor­rup­tion and drugs had “torn apart many of our com­mu­ni­ties, de­stroyed our fam­i­lies and snuffed out the hopes and dreams of our peo­ple”.

In­vok­ing the UN’s new sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment goals adopted last year, Mr Yasay said his coun­try would not be able to meet those goals with­out tack­ling cor­rup­tion and drugs.

Re­la­tions between Mr Duterte and the United Na­tions have been tense af­ter the leader launched sev­eral tirades against the world body for its crit­i­cism of his tac­tics, even threat­en­ing to pull out – a threat he later with­drew.

Ear­lier this month, Mr Duterte de­clined a meet­ing with UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon on the side­lines of a meet­ing in Laos of South­east Asian lead­ers.

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