Palace still open to probe despite UN High Commissioner's remarks vs Duterte

Adjust Comment Print

After months of threatening to take action, earlier this month the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened a preliminary investigation into Duterte's war on drugs, probing potential crimes against humanity. While official government data show at least 4,000 deaths in police anti-drug operations since July 2016, human rights groups such as the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) estimate that up to 12,000 people could have fallen victim to Duterte's policies.

"Relevant sides of the worldwide community, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, shall respect the sovereignty of the Philippines and the will of its people, view the outcomes of the Philippines' fight against drug and terrorism in a comprehensive, unbiased and objective way, and support its efforts to move forward its human rights cause in light of its national conditions", he said.

He further said that the United Nations as an agency is expected to perform its duties within its set out purposes and principles in its Charter.

The UN investigator, former lawmaker and four former priests are among more than 600 alleged communist guerrillas the Philippines wants declared "terrorists", according to a Government petition filed in court.

Harry Roque, the presidential spokesman, also said Tauli-Corpuz and another Filipina rapporteur are embarrassing the Duterte administration when they publicly expressed on the possible escalation of militarisation in Mindanao, especially among the "lumad" (indigenous peoples).

"I reiterate the United Nations is an organization consisting of states and as such all UN officials can not deal with elected leaders of member-nations in a manner that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights did".

Local and worldwide human rights groups have called on the government to allow the United Nations to look into the anti-drug campaign.

"[What Lu said] basically should be the correct stand of all states". So the best way is to just keep silent.

This drew the ire of the opposition, with Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao saying that this order only confirmed the human rights violations being done by authorities. Some translations of this statement strive to make it clear he was indeed suggesting that human rights investigators should be fed to crocodiles.

"This is, of course, unacceptable for a special rapporteur acting on behalf of the global community whose expertise is sought by the Human Rights Council to be treated in this way", Zeid said. Are there crocodiles here?

Roque said Duterte merely gave an "appropriate response" when he made the threat.