Palace: Calls for UN to probe war on drugs considered interference with PH sovereignty

Published July 5, 2019, 5:36 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said that the calls for the United Nations to look into President Duterte’s ongoing drug war could be considered as an interference with the country’s sovereignty.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement after Iceland called on the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to present a comprehensive written report on the situation.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

In an interview in Malacañang, Panelo said that any move that will interfere with how the country is being run could be considered an interference with Philippine sovereignty.

“We already made our stand. Any move that will interfere with the sovereignty of this country, the management of this country by a sitting President elected overwhelmingly by the people, to our mind is an interference with our sovereignty,” he said.

“Bakit sila minamanduhan yung isang sovereign state? Diba (How could they dictate on a sovereign state)?”

Panelo then said that those who initiated the calls for the UN to look into the matter were just being misled by false information by those who do not like Duterte.

“The problem with this, those who initiated it, they are believing in the false news, false information, the false narratives initiated and spread by those who hate the President’s guts and political will, and supported by some questionable members of not media mainstream, but outside of that,” he said.

President Duterte has repeatedly called out international human rights groups, including the UN, for criticizing his drug war which has left at least 5,000 people dead, based on data from the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The Philippines has consistently denied claims that Duterte’s drug war has left more than 20,000 victims of extrajudicial killings as alleged by some groups.

In its two-page draft resolution, Iceland called on the Philippines to cooperate with the probe that will be conducted by the UNHRC. It also urged the Philippines to refrain from all acts of intimidation or retaliation. Earlier, Duterte threatened to arrest ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda if she sets foot in the country to investigate.

According to a report by Reuters, Iceland’s resolution was backed by at least 24 countries, mostly European nations. Its resolution needs the approval of majority of UNHRC’s 47 member-states.

Read more: PH faces call for UN investigation into war on drugs killings