Roque: Appeals by foreign countries to probe drug-related killings not needed

FILE PHOTO: Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque

There is no need for other countries to call on the Philippine government to look into drug-related killings because the administration is already doing the necessary investigations on these cases in the country.

This was according to Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque in response to the recent appeal issued by Iceland on behalf of other member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council urging the Philippines to halt the killings resulting from its war on drugs.

“We urge the government of the Philippines to take all necessary measures to bring killings associated with the campaign against illegal drugs to an end and to cooperate with the international community to investigate all related deaths and hold all accountable,” the statement said as delivered by Ambassador Harald Aspelund, Permanent Representative of Iceland.

The group also insisted on the Philippines’ compliance to the “United Nations system including the Human Rights Council and its special procedure mandate holders – without preconditions or limitations.”

It should be recalled that the Duterte administration has banned UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings Agnes Callamard from investigating its anti-drug war campaign due to the latter’s alleged bias against the President.

Roque reiterated that an appeal from foreign countries is not necessary as the Philippine government has a record of the campaign’s fatalities to determine if proper procedure was indeed observed during drug operations.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano was also dismayed by the statement made by Iceland and other signatory countries after he invited them to personally visit the Philippines and see for themselves the human rights situation in the country.

“We regret that Iceland and several other countries maintained their position despite our offer for them to visit the Philippines and objectively asses the human rights situation, especially at the community level,” he said.

Cayetano added that it seems these countries are not interested in “arriving at the truth and would rather rely on the misinformation being fed to them by parties that have politicized and weaponized human rights.” — Rosalie Coz

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