Palace tells 39 UN mem­ber states: ‘We will never ac­cept dic­ta­tion’

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MALACAÑANG on Fri­day in­sisted that the Philip­pine govern­ment would not be swayed by the “dic­ta­tion” of its for­eign peers on how it is man­ag­ing its do­mes­tic con­cerns, par­tic­u­larly its crack­down on il­le­gal drugs.

Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Ernesto Abella main­tained that there was “no cul­ture of im­punity” in the Philip­pines in re­la­tion to the bru­tal war on il­licit nar­cotics sale, stress­ing that the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte did not con­done the re­ported abuses of hu­man rights.

His state­ment came af­ter 39 mem­ber-states of the United Na­tions (UN) have ex­pressed alarm over the al­leged sum­mary ex­e­cu­tions of sus­pected drug of­fend­ers in the coun­try.

“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,” Abella said in a state­ment.

“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,” he added.

Ice­land, on be­half of 38 other coun­tries, de­liv­ered a joint state­ment on Thurs­day, ex­press­ing se­ri­ous con­cern over the thou­sands of drug-re­lated killings and al­leged im­punity as­so­ci­ated with Duterte’s drug war.

The num­ber of sig­na­to­ries rose to 39 from the pre­vi­ous 32 na­tions that ex­pressed a sim­i­lar con­cern dur­ing the 35th ses­sion of the UN Hu­man Rights Coun­cil (UNHRC) in June.

The mem­ber-states called on the Philip­pines to co­op­er­ate with for­eign en­ti­ties in con­duct­ing an ap­pro­pri­ate in­quiry into the re­ported drug killings un­der Duterte’s lead­er­ship.

“We urge the govern­ment of the Philip­pines to take all nec­es­sary mea­sures to bring these killings to an end and co­op­er­ate with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to pur­sue ap­pro­pri­ate in­ves­ti­ga­tions into these in­ci­dents, in keep­ing with univer­sal prin­ci­ples of demo­cratic ac­count­abil­ity and the rule of law,” Ice­land said at the 36th ses­sion of the UNHRC.

The joint state­ment was signed by Aus­tralia, Aus­tria, Bel­gium, Bul­garia, Canada, Croa­tia, Cyprus, Czech Repub­lic, Den­mark, Es­to­nia, Fin­land, France, Ge­or­gia, Ger­many, Greece, Ice­land, Ire­land, Italy, Latvia, Liecht­en­stein, Lithua­nia, Lux­em­bourg, Mace­do­nia, Malta, Moldova, Mon­tene­gro, Nor­way, Poland, Por­tu­gal, Ro­ma­nia, Slo­vakia, Slove­nia, Spain, Swe­den, Switzer­land, The Nether­lands, UK, Ukraine, and United States.

(AP)

Edgar Dela Paz cleans a used tire out­side a tire shop in Manila, Philip­pines on Thurs­day, Sept. 28, 2017. Many Filipinos re­sort to buy­ing used items to save money.

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