Philippines to "explain" anti-drug war to UN human rights council

The Philippines will explain President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal campaign against illegal drugs to the United Nations amid mounting criticisms, an official said Wednesday

Philippine Ambassador to the UN Cecilia Rebong also plans to stress that the government does not condone extrajudicial killings when she addresses the 33rd UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva.

“Basically our statement is to explain that President Duterte was elected by a large number of Filipino voters on a platform of peace and order and we should also explain the situation of the drug problem, the extent,” said Charles Jose, Foreign Affairs Department spokesman.

UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has criticized Duterte’s “striking lack of understanding” of rights institutions and called for an investigation into the drug-related deaths.

According to police statistics, 1,466 suspected drug users and dealers have been killed in police operations between July 1 and September 10. Police also recorded 1,490 deaths during the same period which are still being investigated.

Jose said Rebong would inform the UN of the “inroads” made within the first two months of the government’s anti-drug campaign.

“Some casualties were victims of police operation and so they are not victims of extrajudicial killings and the others are victims of summary execution and we don’t condone this,” he said.

“In fact, President Duterte wants this investigated,” he added.

When asked if the Philippines would allow the UN to investigate the deaths under the anti-drug campaign, Jose said, “That remains to be seen.”

Zeid has demanded access to the Philippines to check on the killings, noting, “Empowering police forces to shoot to kill any individual whom they claim to suspect of drug crimes, with or without evidence, undermines justice.”

Last update: Wed, 14/09/2016 - 15:28

More from World

US abstains for first time from UN vote condemning Cuban embargo

The United States abstained for the first time in 24 years from a vote in the UN General Assembly urging an end to...

Venezuelans demand end to "dictatorship" as tensions surge

Venezuela's political crisis escalated Wednesday as the opposition announced a general strike and threatened to...

Monitor: Death toll rises to 35 in bombing of Syrian rebel village

The death toll from Wednesday's airstrikes near a school complex in a rebel-held village in north-western Syria has...

US pushing for TTIP deal ahead of Obama's Germany trip

The United States said Wednesday it is continuing to push forward with a US-European trade agreement with the "...

2016 deadliest year for migrants in Mediterranean, UN agency says

This year has been the deadliest ever for migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, with at least 3,800...