Duterte hits Iceland over human rights probe: 'You don't understand PH problems'

Duterte hits Iceland over human rights probe: 'You don't understand PH problems'

On Thursday, the 47-member states of the UNHRC voted in Geneva to adopt a resolution which calls for a preliminary investigation to assess the human rights situation in the Philippines amid the government's crackdown on illegal drugs.

Bernard Banac said that the issue "will be appropriately addressed by the Department of Foreign Affairs".

Manila says police have killed 5,300 drug suspects who resisted arrest, rejecting the estimates of rights groups who say the crackdown - that remains popular with many Filipinos - has left more than 20,000 dead. It is not surprising to note that some of the countries of those United Nations representatives who voted to call a United Nations inquiry into the alleged "extrajudicial killings" actually have worse illegal drugs problems, such as Mexico, Peru and other Latin countries.

"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. 'It was quite clear that they threatened consequences for those who had supported the resolution, which in turn makes us concerned for the many human rights defenders, civil society activists and journalists on the ground, she said.

This is a significant and relevant move by Iceland, which was supported by 28 states.

"This vote provides hope for thousands of bereaved families in the Philippines and countless more Filipinos bravely challenging the Duterte administration's murderous 'war on drugs, '" said Nicholas Bequelin of Amnesty International. "The resolution is grotesquely one-sided, outrageously narrow and maliciously partisan".

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MANILA-President Duterte took a swipe at Iceland on Friday for spearheading a UN resolution to investigate his bloody war on drugs, saying it was a nation made entirely of ice, with no understanding of his country's problems.

Locsin also said that the adoption of the resolution has "no effect as such resolutions, especially those passed by a tiny minority, can and will be ignored". Philippine police place drug-related killings at 6,600 during his presidency - a quarter of the 27,000 estimated by rights groups. An independent investigation into reported human rights violations in line with the government's anti-narcotics campaign and its counterinsurgency program is long overdue.

The Philippines strongly opposed the resolution and branded it a "travesty".

Locsin said he preferred worldwide cooperation on the drug war with Russian Federation or the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.

Duterte, asked by reporters in Manila whether he would allow United Nations rights officials access to investigate, said, "Let them state their objective and I will review it". The vote came just days after one of the drug war's youngest victims, 3-year-old Myca Ulpina, was killed in a police raid.

Duterte's spokesperson, Salvador Panelo, said on Friday that Iceland had introduced a resolution "based on false information, bogus news", and relied on narratives of the President's opponents and biased media. "Police reportedly accused him of using the girl as a shield, which her mother denied".

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