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Malacanang hits back at UN commissioner's reckless, irresponsible remarks on Duterte's war on drugs

On the remarks of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet
Undisputedly, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has been supplied with the usual vintage and false information, peddled by the President’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.

Relative to the smear effort using the UN as a platform to parrot baseless criticisms, we remind everyone 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.

The pillars of the criminal justice system in the Philippines remain functioning and effective. This conclusion finds support on 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 drug menace is more than a public security threat, it is likewise an issue on poverty and health. Rehabilitation and treatment of drug dependents form the second phase of our campaign with the construction of unprecedented mega-rehabilitation centers 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.

We find therefore the following statements of High Commissioner Bachelet as reckless and irresponsible:

First, Ms. Bachelet cited 27,000 – a grossly inflated number – may have been killed in the campaign against illegal substance.

Second, Ms. Bachelet said that only one case – referring to the Kian de los Santos case – has been subject to investigation and prosecution. She forgot to include the Carl Arnaiz case where two policemen who found to have erred in the conduct of their mission were ordered dismissed by the Philippine National Police (PNP). This is not to mention the program undertaken by PNP to cleanse its ranks from rogue cops.

Third, Ms. Bachelet encouraged the Philippines to adopt a public health approach in its drug policies, which the Philippines is already doing. We stress our multi-pronged strategy of dealing with the drug menace, as discussed above.

We hope this sets the record straight even as we express willingness to engage in constructive dialogue to any entity respectful of our sovereignty.

Misleading information such as aforedescribed compelled current campaign of the Philippine government to inform the international community, including the UN, EU and our very own Filipino communities abroad, of the truth behind the governance agenda of the current administration.

Those information have been found to emanate from groups that are either closely identified with the CPP-NPA which have been declared as terrorists by the EU and the US, or from groups aligned with the political party whose candidate in the 2016 elections was soundly defeated by the current president.

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.

The Philippines, as an active and steadfast advocate of human rights, will continue to stand for the vulnerable in our society and around the world. As we do so, we will vigorously defend ourselves and our people against these baseless attempts to undermine our efforts and continue to stand for truth and progress.

Salvador S. Panelo
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel
& Presidential Spokesperson

Malacanang hits back at UN commissioner's reckless, irresponsible remarks on Duterte's war on drugs Malacanang hits back at UN commissioner's reckless, irresponsible remarks on Duterte's war on drugs Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 4:53:00 AM Rating: 5

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