Hontiveros to Duterte admin: Heed 38 countries’ call to stop killings
The Duterte administration should heed the call of 38 nations under the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to stop and probe the killings in its drug war, opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros urged on Monday.
In a statement, the Akbayan senator said she welcomed the UNHRC’s call to the Duterte administration to end the drug war killings and cooperate with international bodies in investigating human rights abuses.
“I am happy that more and more countries are adding their voice in the fight to end the climate of killings and impunity in our country,” she said.
She dubbed as “ridiculous” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano’s earlier remark, saying the 38 countries are biased and misinformed.
“Ibig sabihin biased ang Montenegro sa gobyerno natin? Nagsisinungaling lamang ang Malta? Dilawan ang Croatia at Cyprus? It’s absurd!” Hontiveros said.
Instead of dismissing the countries’ call, the Duterte administartion should heed it “like a responsible member of the international community,” Hontiveros said.
“It is not enough to say that the government is already making its own assessment of the country’s human rights situation. The fact that these countries were compelled to speak in one voice against the abuses in our country is testament that the government is not doing enough,” she pointed out.
Hontiveros, expecting the Duterte administration to play “the sovereignty card” again, dared the government to stop making excuses.
“There is nothing patriotic about shutting the world off from the horrors of the thousands of unsolved killings in our country. It is not a defense of the country’s sovereignty. Rather, it is the perpetuation of the culture of killing and impunity,” Hontiveros said.
“Kaya tama na sana ang palusot. The Duterte government should stop making excuses. If it has nothing to hide, it will not find it hard to cooperate with the international community to investigate all related deaths and hold perpetrators accountable, and to take concrete actions to stop the killings associated with its bloody war against drugs,” she added.
The 38 nations included Australia, the United Kingdom, and even the United States before it left the council.
They called on the Philippine government to stop harassing human rights defenders, journalists and the Commission on Human Rights.
“We urge the government of the Philippines to take all necessary measures to bring killings associated with the campaign against illegal drugs to an end and cooperate with the international community to investigate all related deaths and hold perpetrators accountable,” the UNHRC said in a statement issued on June 19.
However, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque insisted that the government was already making its own assessment of the country’s human rights situation and did not need foreigners to tell it what to do. /vvp
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