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Philippines Faces Call for UN Investigation Into War on Drugs Killings
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=2456"><span class="small">Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters</span></a>   
Friday, 05 July 2019 08:40

Nebehay writes: "More than two dozen countries formally called for a U.N. investigation into thousands of killings in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, activists said."

Protesters and residents hold lighted candles and placards at the wake of Kian Loyd delos Santos, a 17-year-old high school student, who was among the people shot dead last week in an escalation of President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs. (photo: Dondi Tawatao/Reuters)
Protesters and residents hold lighted candles and placards at the wake of Kian Loyd delos Santos, a 17-year-old high school student, who was among the people shot dead last week in an escalation of President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs. (photo: Dondi Tawatao/Reuters)


Philippines Faces Call for UN Investigation Into War on Drugs Killings

By Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters

05 July 19

 

ore than two dozen countries formally called for a U.N. investigation into thousands of killings in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, activists said.

Iceland submitted the draft resolution backed by mainly European states, they said. The text urges the government to prevent extrajudicial executions and marks the first time that the Human Rights Council has been asked to address the crisis.

The Duterte government has insisted the more than 5,000 suspected drug dealers killed by police in anti-narcotics operations all put up a fight.

But activists say that at least 27,000 have been killed since Duterte was elected in 2016 on a platform of crushing crime and that Myka, a three-year-old shot during a police raid last weekend, is among the latest victims.

“Here we are three years later with 27,000 killed, among the most impoverished, in a massive crackdown. That is a conservative estimate,” Ellecer “Budit” Carlos of the Manila-based group iDefend told Reuters.

“In a non-armed conflict context, this is the worst case of extrajudicial killings globally,” he said after urging the council to act.

The Geneva forum is to vote on the resolution before ending its three-week session on July 12. The Philippines is among its current 47 members.

Carlos conceded that Asian countries were unlikely to vote in favor of the text, adding: “I think it will be a close shave”.

One Asian ambassador, speaking on condition of anonymity, indicated that his country would not support it, telling Reuters: “There are worse things happening in the world.”

But activists say the Council and the office of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet must shine a light on the situation.

“For us a primary priority for this session is the situation in the Philippines,” said Laila Matar of Human Rights Watch.

“Bodies continue to pile up in Manila and other urban areas, again in the context of the war on drugs which we have seen is very much a war against the poor, impoverished and marginalized communities, which are the biggest victims,” she said.

It occurs in a wider context of “attacks on human rights defenders, media activists, journalists, anyone who really dares to speak up against the killings,” she added.

“Police accounts of drug raids are not reliable – the officers enforcing the ‘drug war’ have been shown to plant weapons and drugs to justify the killings,” Matar told the council this week.

Philippine Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Friday the government need not be told by anyone to stop extrajudicial executions, because killing suspects who did not put up a fight had never been policy.

“Our government is prepared to face any inquiry if the same becomes necessary to disabuse the minds of those who rely on or give undue credence to selective, if not biased, second-hand information,” Guevarra told reporters.

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+1 # McGeorge Govern 2019-07-05 13:57
I fear the groundwork is being laid for yet another regime-change war or coup-- all in the name of "human rights," of course.

Like Sen. Joe McCarthy's estimates of Commies on the loose in the 1950s, the body counts alleged against the Philippine Govt only grow larger with each new article and resolution.

Why no articles about the Duterte Admin. passage of free college tuition & Universal Heath-care?
 
 
+1 # DongiC 2019-07-06 07:10
Isn't Duterte one of Trump's buddies?