Thursday, 14 November, 2019

Duterte blasts 'idiot' critics as UN reviews Philippine drug war

Human rights advocates display placards during a news conference following the United Nations Human Rights Council's resolution in Geneva Friday UN To Investigate Philippines' Antidrug War
Deanna Wagner | 13 July, 2019, 23:33

Eighteen states of the 47-member Human Rights Council on Thursday voted to adopt Iceland's resolution which requested United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet to present a "comprehensive" report on the state of human rights in the Philippines.

Government officials have condemned the recently approved resolution at the UN Human Rights Council which asks Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate killings and alleged rights abuses in the Philippines.

The Philippines on Thursday, July 11 rejected a United Nations resolution that mandates a "comprehensive" global review of the drug war that has been ongoing since President Rodrigo Duterte took office three years ago.

DW reports that after the vote, the Philippine ambassador to the U.N., Evan Garcia, said the Duterte administration is committed to upholding justice. It also calls on the Philippines to take all necessary measures to prevent extrajudicial killings.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission resolution against the Philippines merely dramatizes how useless the worldwide body and its members are. "The Human Rights Council solution sends a clear message that the worldwide community will not look the other way as extrajudicial executions and other serious violations continue to be committed with impunity".

'This war on drugs, as we have repeatedly said, it's a sham war, he told a news briefing yesterday in Geneva. Human rights campaigners and some Western politicians accuse the police of extrajudicial killings of dealers and drug users.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Thursday expressed "our solidarity with our true friends who have stood by us in this farce". "Thus, the Philippines rejects this resolution", he added.

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The exact number of dead in President Duterte's war on drugs is impossible to independently verify.

The exact number of deaths in Duterte's violent war on drugs can not be verified, but at least 6,000 have died since he launched the campaign upon taking office in mid-2016, in operations the police said suspects were armed and fought back. Duterte has fired off insults at United Nations human rights experts, and the government sought to have the expert on the rights of indigenous people, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, declared a terrorist when she criticized the government's actions. Police say her father, Renato, had used his daughter as a human shield.

"The resolution is grotesquely one-sided, outrageously narrow, and maliciously partisan", Panelo said in a lengthy statement.

The resolution had faced strong pushback from President Rodrigo Duterte's government, which counters that the toll has been exaggerated its estimates say 5,300 have died and that the crackdown has the strong support of many Filipinos.

The vote came against the backdrop of renewed global scrutiny of Duterte's war on drugs, which three years on has remained as violent as ever.

The deputy Geneva director for Human Rights Watch, Leila Matar, said it was a "modest but vital" step.