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Palace: Duterte response vs nations backing UN resolution an ‘outrage reaction’

/ 04:47 PM March 05, 2020
Panelo

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo. Philippine Daily Inquirer file photo / JOAN BONDOC

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Thursday admitted that President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to defer talks for financing deals with countries that voted for or supported the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) probe into the Philippines’ human rights record was an “outrage reaction.”

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement after the President ordered the resumption of talks for signing loan and grant agreements with the 21 countries that wanted to scrutinize the alleged human-rights abuses in the country due to Duterte’s war on illegal drugs.

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“You must remember that, that was made because of what they—of these countries–did when they passed that resolution condemning the war on drugs in this country,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

“And it was more of an outrage reaction, having already expressed our stand on that, perhaps there is now a reason to change it.”

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Eighteen UNHRC member-countries voted in favor of an Iceland-led resolution last July 11, which seeks an investigation into the drug war killings.

Those that voted in favor are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, Iceland, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Uruguay.

Meanwhile, three non-UNHRC members France, Germany, and Sweden backed the resolution.

Duterte launched his controversial war on drugs when he took office in 2016. Since then, some 5,550 people had been killed during anti-drug operations.

However, human rights advocates argue that the number of deaths reached at least 27,000, including vigilante-style killings that were not considered part of legitimate operations.

At least two complaints have been filed before the International Criminal Court against Duterte over the drug war deaths, but the firebrand leader and the police have denied condoning extrajudicial killings related to the controversial anti-drug campaign.

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TAGS: Drug war, Human rights, ICC, Malacañang, Salvador Panelo, UNHRC
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