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