Philippines Hits Back at Call for U.N. Inquiry of Police Killings

MANILA — The Philippine government hit back on Saturday at United Nations rights experts seeking an international investigation into the unlawful killings during President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, calling the push “an outrageous interference” on the country’s sovereignty.

A presidential spokesman, Salvador Panelo, accused the 11 special rapporteurs of “peddling a biased and absolutely false recital of facts,” and said that the Southeast Asian country was an independent democracy with a working judiciary.

“Let the enemies of the state and their supporters from foreign soil be forewarned that no amount of destructive narratives against this government will envelope it with the appearance of pretended truth to hoodwink the Filipino people in embracing it,” Mr. Panelo said in a statement.

Mr. Panelo argued that Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs, which the government says has killed more than 5,000 people suspected of being addicts and dealers over the past three years, was based on the “primary duty of the state” to protect its citizens. The police operate on strict protocols, he said, and those who deviate from it are dealt with by the government.

“Lest these foreign propagandists, masquerading as human right protectors, forget, allegations are not proof,” Mr. Panelo said.

He stressed that the results of elections in May, in which Mr. Duterte’s allies effectively gained control of the Senate, should prove that the public supported the drug war.

Mr. Duterte initially said that he welcomed any international investigation into the killings, but he subsequently withdrew the country from an international treaty. Rights groups and experts have said that the cases would still be investigated.

Mr. Duterte has threatened International Criminal Court investigators with arrest should they come to Manila.

Sahred From Source link World News

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