Palace describes leftist group's complaint as propaganda
PRESIDENTIAL spokesperson Harry Roque said the complaints filed by a leftist group against President Rodrigo Duterte over alleged extrajudicial killings in the country only serve propaganda purposes.
On Saturday, local human rights watchdog Karapatan sent to United Nations Rapporteurs Agnes Callamard and Michael Frost a letter blaming 25 killings on state agents in the course of the administration's counter-insurgency cam pai gn .
It was the second complaint filed by Karapatan.
On April 10, the group filed its first complaint accusing the government of being responsible for the death of 47 indivi dual s.
"It’s useless to go to go the UN without filing cases before the fiscal’s office. Filing directly with the UN is only for propaganda purposes because there are institutions in the Philippines that could address it," Roque said in a statement.
Roque encouraged the group to file the case before the fiscal's office or the Supreme Court.
"From one counterinsurgency program to another, cases of extrajudicial killings against peasants, indigenous peoples, Moro, workers, women and youth continue to be committed with impunity under the murderous Duterte regime," Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay wrote in her letter to the UN.
“We allege that state security forces are primarily responsible for these killings that are all in the context of a government program that makes no distinction between armed and unarmed civilians, thus providing a pretext for the arbitrary tagging of individuals, groups and movements as enemies of the state," she added.
The President recently ordered the cancellation of the peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines, because of the continued attacks staged by its armed wing, New People's Army.
Following the cancellation, the President branded the communist rebels as terrorists and verbally ordered their arrest as well as their "legal fronts." (SunStar Philippines)