UN To Investigate Philippines' Antidrug War

UN To Investigate Philippines' Antidrug War

Philippines Ambassador Evan Garcia, speaking after the vote, read a statement by his foreign ministry rejecting the resolution as "politically-partisan and one-sided". Activists say the death toll is at least 27,000.

The UN's top human rights body has passed a resolution that includes calls for greater scrutiny in the Philippines.

The resolution was adopted 18-14 in the U.N. Human Rights Council on Thursday.

"It's a modest resolution, but it is a very critical step to putting the Philippines on the track to accountability and to show that the killing of thousands of drug war victims has not gone unnoticed by the worldwide community", said Laila Matar, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's group monitoring the United Nations.

Matar said, "It signals the start of accountability for thousands of "drug war"-related killings and other abuses, and will provide hope to countless survivors and families of victims".

Filipino activists say tens of thousands are being killed as police terrorise poor communities, using the cursory drug "watch lists" to identify suspected users or dealers, and executing many of them under the guise of sting operations.

Duterte and the police have denied authorizing extrajudicial killings.

More news: Appeals Court to Hear ACA Oral Arguments This Week

Last month, a three-year-old girl became one of the youngest victims of the war on drugs, after she was shot dead in a raid near Manila. Police say her father Renato had used her as a human shield. "It's just ice. That's your problem, you have too much ice, and there is no clear day or night there", he said during a meeting with corrections officials.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte mocked the country of Iceland in a rambling speech Friday, suggesting that people in the small Nordic island nation "go about eating ice" and that they have "no policemen".

Locsin Jr., said the UN Human Rights Council's decision Thursday "flies in the face of everything the Philippines has worked for when it founded the Human Rights Council".

The official death toll from Duterte's war on drugs, which has been the signature policy of his presidency since he was elected in 2016, now stands at around 5,300.

"It reeks of nauseating politics completely devoid of respect for the sovereignty of our country even as it is bereft of the gruesome realities of the drug menace in the country", he said. Duterte has fired off insults at United Nations human rights experts, and the government sought to have the expert on the rights of indigenous people, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, declared a terrorist when she criticized the government's actions.

"The Philippine Government must open spaces for dialogue with other nations that have expressed their concerns about the human rights situation in the country to show resolve that we can most certainly improve", the CHR said. "There will be consequences, far-reaching consequences". Human Rights Watch says that figure does not include almost 23,000 others who police say were killed by unidentified gunmen or vigilantes, widely considered extrajudicial killings.

"Right now we do not want the situation to escalate further", National Council of Churches spokesman Mervin Toquero told reporters at a press conference, according to Reuters.

Related Articles