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Gov’t ready to face UN inquiry into drug war — Justice Secretary

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JUSTICE SECRETARY MENARDO I. GUEVARRA — PCOO.GOV.PH

JUSTICE Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said on Friday that the Philippine government is ready should the United Nations start a probe into the administration’s war on drugs, this after Reuters reported that Iceland has submitted a draft resolution calling for an investigation into the alleged killings related to the drug war.

On Friday, Mr. Guevarra told reporters, “In any event, our government is prepared to face any inquiry if the same becomes necessary to disabuse the minds of those who rely on or give undue credence to selective, if not biased, second-hand information.”

The Palace, meanwhile, released a statement defending the war on drugs and decrying any attempts by other countries to “interfere” with the manner the government “maintains peace and order.”

Reuters reported on Friday that Iceland, backed by more than two dozen mostly european counties, has sent a draft resolution before the Human Rights Council. The resolution will be voted upon by the Geneva Forum before it ends its sessions next week.

It has been estimated that at least 27,000 people have been killed since President Rodrigo R. Duterte declared his war on drugs in 2016, although his administration insists only 5,000 drug suspects have been slain after fighting back against policemen.

The Justice Secretary stressed that other organizations and countries should refrain from urging the Philippines to “prevent” killings related to the drug war, adding the Philippine government does not condone any killings.




“With all due respect, our government need not be told by anyone, including the UN or any of its agencies, to stop so-called ‘extrajudicial executions’ in our war on drugs because it has never been the policy of the government to tolerate the killing of illegal drug suspects who submit themselves peacefully to our law enforcement authorities,” he said.

Salvador S. Panelo, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson, released a statement saying, “No government of any nation knows the actual and real state of our country’s domestic affairs better than this Government. Any attempt therefore by any foreign country to interfere with how this Government maintains its peace and order, not only is an affront to their intellect but an interference with the country’s sovereignty as well.”

He went on to tell “those foreign governments which have been misled by false news and untruthful narratives about the President’s war against illegal narcotics, we reiterate that drug-related deaths arising therefrom are neither state-initiated nor sponsored.

“Nevertheless, we reiterate that no one is above the law in our country. Abusive police officers are not tolerated by this Administration and must face the corresponding punishment of their unlawful actions,” he said, noting that “we have been urging those who claim to be victims of police abuse to file cases so their respective grievances can be redressed by this Government accordingly. Instead of collaborating with personalities belonging to the opposition, who are without authority to resolve their complaints and will only politicize their sufferings, we ask them to come forward so we can give them the proper assistance to attain the justice which they seek.” — Gillian M. Cortez

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