‘Bato’ shoos away foreign drug war critics: You’re not welcome
MANILA, Philippines — Even before foreign human rights defenders critical of the administration’s drug war can set their foot on Philippine shores, a lawmaker is already turning them away: You are not welcome.
An inhospitable Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa told reporters at the Senate on Wednesday: “Problemahin nila ‘yung bansa nila, ‘wag silang makialam dito. Bakit sila makikialam dito? Do you think justified ‘yung pakikialam nila? Shoo shoo, shoo, you’re not welcome. Sabi ng Presidente, you’re not welcome.”
(They should mind their own country, they should meddle here. Why would they meddle here? Do you think your interference is justified? Shoo, shoo, shoo, you’re not welcome. Like what the President said, you’re not welcome).
Dela Rosa, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, was asked about the pronouncement of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. that Phelim Kine, former deputy director for Asia of the New York-based Human Rights Watch, will not be allowed entry if he tries to come into the Philippines to “advise” Vice President Leni Robredo on how to end the “murderous” drug war of the Duterte administration.
“Papasok sila to improve the drug war? Ma-improve ‘yung drug war by investigating the people fighting the war? Oh?” Dela Rosa said.
(They will improve the drug war? Improve the drug war by investigating the people fighting the war?)
“That’s clear pakikialam sa ating internal affairs ‘di ba?” he further said.
(That’s clear interference with our internal affairs, right?).
The Duterte administration’s brutal campaign against illegal drugs has earned a widespread rebuke from international organizations and local rights groups.
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) even adopted in July the Iceland-initiated resolution, calling for a thorough review of the human rights situation in the Philippines, including drug war killings under the Duterte administration.
The Duterte administration criticized UNHRC’s move and vowed not to allow its investigators into the country.
President Rodrigo Duterte also faces a complaint before the International Criminal Court for his bloody crackdown on illegal drugs, which he launched upon his assumption to power in 2016.
Over 5,500 individuals have been killed in the drug war, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, but human rights groups asserted that the death toll has already reached 27,000.
Edited by KGA
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