MANILAThe Duterte administration respects human rights, MalacaAang on Friday reiterated following the circulating draft resolution of Iceland to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) against the Philippine government's campaign against illegal drugs.
"The fact that the Philippines during the term of President Rodrigo Duterte has been elected to the UN Human Rights Council with 165 out of 192 votes at the UN General Assembly bespeaks the growing appreciation of the international community on our policies with respect to human rights," Presidential Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
The draft resolution, reportedly backed by some European states, requests the UNHRC to address the deaths related to the drug campaign and calls on the Philippine government to facilitate country visits by UN special rapporteurs.
Panelo said the Philippines' response to such calls is unchanged.
"No government of any nation knows the actual and real state of our country's domestic affairs better than this government. Any attempt therefore by any foreign country to interfere with how this government maintains its peace and order, not only is an affront to their intellect but an interference with the country's sovereignty as well," he said.
Panelo also called on UN member-states to evaluate reports concerning the domestic affairs of other countries.
"To those foreign governments which have been misled by false news and untruthful narratives about the President's war against illegal narcotics, we reiterate that drug-related deaths arising therefrom are neither state-initiated nor sponsored," he said.
"These drug-related deaths are consequences of police operations when the subjects violently resist arrest that endangers the lives of the law enforcers who act on self-defense, which is sanctioned by law," he added.
Panelo said violent encounters during police operations "are not extraordinary since illegal drugs alter the psychological makeup of those pushers and users hence the violent resistance."
Almost a hundred policemen have died in the process of these police operations while seven hundred plus of them have been seriously injured, he noted.
"Another cause for these deaths is when those who surrendered rat on the members of the drug syndicate. Likewise, botched drug deals among syndicate members result in killing each other," he added.
Panelo described these as "inevitable results" when a government is sincere about ridding illegal drugs in its country and when its leader has the political will to provide a safe and secure environment for his constituents.
"Nevertheless, we reiterate that no one is above the law in our country. Abusive police officers are not tolerated by this Administration and must face the corresponding punishment of their unlawful actions," he said.
Pinoys support anti-illegal drugs drive
Meanwhile, he said a survey in 2018 showed that eight out of 10 Filipinos are satisfied with the administration's campaign against illegal drugs.
"This can only mean that Filipinos feel safer as the rate of criminality has substantially declined to a remarkable low for indeed, a significant most number of our country's felonies are drug-related," he said.
This, as he said the Philippines has working mechanisms and domestic processes, including those adopted by its law enforcement sectors and inter-agency groups, to address the deaths related in its bid against prohibited drugs.
Among others, Manila has a robust judicial system which "soundly operates", he said.
"These are among the reasons why we have been urging those who claim to be victims of police abuse to file cases so their respective grievances can be redressed by this government accordingly. Instead of collaborating with personalities belonging to the opposition, who are without authority to resolve their complaints and will only politicize their sufferings, we ask them to come forward so we can give them the proper assistance to attain the justice which they seek," he added.
"Even as we expect this latest demonization attempt against the President and this Administration to fail, we ask some state-members of the UN to be more circumspect in evaluating reports concerning the domestic affairs of other countries in order that they may demonstrate respect to the latter's sovereignty and independence," he said. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency