Monday July 23, 2018

Rule of law thrives amid drug war, Palace assures UNHRC

MALACAÑANG on Saturday, June 23, assured the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that rule of law prevails in the Philippines, as the Duterte administration continues its brutal war on illegal drugs trade.

At least 38 member-states of the UNHRC called on the Philippines on Tuesday, June 19, to address the country's drug problem "in full respect of the rule of law and compliance with international human rights obligations."

Responding to the UNHRC member-states' call, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the Philippine government is making sure that human rights are not violated, amid the fight against narcotics sale.

"Maski po walang ganyang panawagan, talaga naman pong ipinatutupad ng Kongreso ang batas," the Palace official said in a statement.

(Even without such call, Congress is really implementing the rule of law.)

"Ibig sabihin, hindi namin kinakailangan ang panawagan ng mga dayuhan. Ginagawa na po namin iyan, maski walang ganyang panawagan," he added.

(Meaning, we do not need any appeal from foreign entities. We are addressing it, even without such call.)

In a joint statement delivered during the UNHRC's 38th regular session in Geneva, Switzerland, the council's 38 member-states were encouraged by the Philippines' reported willingness to cooperate with the UN to allow an objective assessment of human rights situation in the country.

They, however, said the Philippines should cooperate "without preconditions or limitations."

"While acknowledging that drug use in the Philippines is a serious problem, actions to tackle drug abuse must be carried out in full respect of the rule of law and compliance with international human rights obligations," the UNHRC's member-states said.

"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 cooperate with the international community to investigate all related deaths and hold perpetrators accountable," they added.

Duterte has brushed aside local and international criticisms over his anti-drug campaign, telling the police to intensify the fight against drug personalities.

Roque said the executive branch has a roster that contains the names of slain individuals suspected to be involved in illegal drugs trade, in a bid to check if they were killed in a lawful operation.

"May imbentaryo kami nung mga napatay diumano sa giyera laban sa droga para malaman namin kung talagang nasunod ba ang tamang proseso o hindi," he said.

(We have a list of those who have been reportedly killed in the war on illegal drugs to determine whether the right process is followed or not.) (SunStar Philippines)