The Philippine Government on Friday challenged calls by UN human rights experts for sanctions against the country for allegedly failing to stop widespread killings and arbitrary detention related to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on illegal drugs.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that the Philippines had fulfilled its obligations to “punish violations of human rights”.
“The conclusions the UN special rapporteurs have reached and the sanctions they have demanded confirm the lack of impartiality.
“This has unfortunately tainted the human rights mechanisms of the United Nations when it comes to the Duterte administration.
“Our courts stand ready to receive and rule on any complaints.
“We call on the special rapporteurs to respect our legal system and the Philippines as a sovereign state,” Roque added.
In a joint statement in Geneva on Thursday, the UN special rapporteurs urged member-states to impose sanctions against Philippine officials who have “committed, incited or failed to prevent human rights abuses” in the country.
Earlier in the month, the UN Human Rights Office released a report stating that violations in the Philippines had become more acute as Duterte’s “incendiary” language encouraged the use of violent force in countering national security threats and illegal drugs.
The UN report added that while official figures indicate that no fewer than 8,663 people were killed since the Philippines launched its campaign against illegal drugs in 2016, some estimates put the real toll at more than triple that number. (dpa/NAN)