Palace says UN rights official fed with wrong info on PH drug war
Malaca?ang hit on Thursday UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet who urged other countries not to emulate the Duterte administration's bloody war on drugs.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Bachelet apparently was supplied with the "usual vintage and false information," peddled by President Rodrigo Duterte's critics and detractors including that of "politicised UN Special rapporteurs," when she painted the Philippines negatively in her report during the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
"The High Commissioner’s use of long-discredited sources obscure the demonstrable progress made by the Philippines in defending its citizens from the menace of drugs," he said.
Bachelet has said the drug policies in place in the Philippines, and its "lack of respect for rule of law and international standards," should not be considered a "model" by any country.
She cited that out of the 27,000 alleged cases of drug-related killings, only the widely reported killing of Kian delos Santos, a teenage boy, was subject to investigation and prosecution.
Panelo said Bachelet's 27,000 figure was a "grossly inflated number."
Government's data showed that over 5,000 drug suspects have been killed since 2016.
Panelo disputed Bachelet's claim only one case has been subject to investigation and prosecution.
He cited the case of slain Carl Arnaiz where two policemen who found to have erred in the conduct of their mission were ordered dismissed by the Philippine National Police.
"This is not to mention the program undertaken by PNP to cleanse its ranks from rogue cops,"he said.
Contrary to the smear effort using the UN as a platform to "parrot" baseless criticisms, Panelo reminded the public that the Philippine government’s anti-illegal drug campaign is anchored on the protection of its citizenry as well as accountability of the enforcers of the law.
"Our law enforcement authorities follow strict procedures and protocols in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations that subject those involved to accountability given the President’s zero tolerance for errant law enforcers," he said.
Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel, said the pillars of the criminal justice system in the Philippines remain functioning and effective.
He cited a survey finding that 7 out of 10 Filipinos believe that the current government is serious in solving the extrajudicial deaths in the country.
"The Philippines’ multi-pronged strategy of enforcement, rehabilitation and reintegration has reduced crime, held criminals accountable and kept Filipino families safe. That is why the Filipino people who see the results of our efforts every day ?support the campaign," he said.
"We find therefore the following statements of High Commissioner Bachelet as reckless and irresponsible," he said.
He blamed the groups closely identified with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front - and the groups aligned with the political party whose candidate in the 2016 elections was soundly defeated by the current president as those behind the wrong information peddled to Bachelet.
"That statements of this sort prevail to this day should be viewed with alarm by all States concerned because it reflects the extent in which the UN has been taken advantage of as a sounding board by political interest groups. By this action, these groups have tainted the very integrity of the UN,"he said.
Panelo said the Palace is willing to engage in constructive dialogue to any entity respectful of the Philippine sovereignty. Celerina Monte/DMS