De Lima twits gov’t refusal of independent probe on Duterte drug war
MANILA, Philippines—Opposition Senator Leila De Lima took a swipe at the government’s repeated refusal of an independent investigation into President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody drug war.
“Thousands of Filipino lives were unjustly taken, and the President and his allies remain unperturbed,” De Lima, one of Duterte’s fiercest critics, said in a statement Monday.
“Worse, they always readily dismiss efforts by international forces to solve and put an end into the extrajudicial killings in the country as another political interference, if not destabilization plot,” she pointed out.
The senator issued the statement after Malacañang dismissed as “intellectually challenged” and “an outrageous interference (in) Philippine sovereignty” the call of 11 special rapporteurs for the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to launch the independent inquiry.
De Lima, who has been detained for drug charges, also joined the UN human rights experts in urging the UNHRC to investigate what she called “extrajudicial killings and other gross human rights violations in the Philippines.”
“I fully concur with the 11 UN experts that the United National Human Rights Council must take concrete actions to address the human rights crisis in the Philippines by setting up and dispatching urgently an independent investigation into the unlawful and unresolved killings in the country,” De Lima said.
On Friday, UN human rights experts asked the UNHRC to look into the “staggering number of unlawful deaths and police killings in the context of the so-called war on drugs, as well as killings of human rights defenders.”
But Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Philippines has a “working vibrant democracy,” and the Duterte administration’s war on drugs was enforced with strict protocols that “any deviation from it is met with the unyielding strong arm of the law, with no transgressors immune from it.” (Editor: Julie Espinosa)
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