‘Intellectually challenged’: Palace slams UN experts’ call for probe into ‘staggering’ Philippines killings

War on Drugs
This file photo taken on May 18, 2017, shows police officers investigating an alleged drug dealer killed by unidentified gunman in Manila.
AFP / Noel Celis

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Saturday described as “intellectually challenged” and “an outrageous interference” the latest call of United Nations experts for an external probe into the human rights situation in the Philippines, adding that the country is a “working vibrant democracy.”

The 11 independent experts on Friday urged the UN Human Rights Council to launch a probe into the alleged human rights violations in the Philippines — a call that the country’s human rights chair welcomed.

“We are extremely concerned over the high number of killings which are being carried out across the country in an apparent climate of officials, institutional impunity,” the UN experts said.

In a statement, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo accused the UN rapporteurs of “peddling a biased and absolutely false recital of facts, adulterated with malicious imputations against the constituted authorities, smacks of unpardonable intrusions on our sovereignty.”

“All these special rapporteurs can present are general allegations culled from false information emanating from the purveyors of status quo ante the Duterte presidency,” Panelo said.

“Lest these foreign propagandists, masquerading as human right protectors, forget, allegations are not proof,” he added.

“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,” he continued.

President Rodrigo Duterte, a former city mayor, beat his more moneyed rivals and won the race to Malacañang in 2016, promising to eradicate crime and solve his country’s drug menace in three to six months.

Human rights watchdogs at home and abroad say most of the fatalities in the government’s anti-narcotic drive are extrajudicial killings committed by cops, something the Duterte administration has vehemently denied.

The UN Human Rights council, comprising of 47 member states, is set to open a three-week session on June 24.

In their statement, the 11 independent experts also said it is time for the council to take action on the alleged attacks on human rights defenders and independent watchdog institutions in the Philippines.

“Instead of sending a strong message that these killings and harassment are unacceptable, there is a rising rhetoric against independent voices in the country and ongoing intimidation and attacks against voices who are critical of the government, including independent media, human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists,” they said. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral with a report from Gaea Katreena Cabico

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with