Incoming foreign secretary willing to be jailed if PH human rights presentation is inaccurate

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 11) — Incoming Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said he is willing to face consequences if his presentation on alleged extrajudicial killings in the Philippines before the UN Human Rights Council was inaccurate.

"I'm willing to resign, to be jailed, to be exiled if mali 'yung pri-nesent ko or at the very least if I intentionally misled anyone," Cayetano, who is an incumbent senator, said in a press conference on Wednesday in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Cayetano, a co-head of the Philippine delegation sent to Geneva for the Human Rights Council's (UNHRC) Universal Periodic Review on May 8, said he merely presented facts.

During his presentation, Cayetano said critics of the administration were "deceiving the public" by spreading alternative facts over alleged extrajudicial killings related to the country's war on drugs.

"Some of the critics of the Duterte administration, including our very own Commission on Human Rights, a senator, and some local media changed the definition of extrajudicial killings, therefore deceiving the public and foreign media into believing that there is a sudden wave of state-sponsored extrajudicial killings in the Philippines," he said.

Cayetano said authorities recorded only 2,692 deaths resulting from presumed legitimate law enforcement operation. Human rights advocates and governmment critics are claiming that the administration's drug war has killed 7,000 since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in June.

"Are there many more killings? Yes, because there are more operations. There are more people killed during legitimate police ops," Cayetano in the presentation.

He even invited state leaders to visit the country to see the real situation.

"We are asking you to interview our people, to go to our communities, to visit the Philippines, and see for yourself the truth, the real numbers," Cayetano added.

The Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines covered human rights issues from 2012 under the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III.

The Human Rights Council will again meet with the Philippine delegation in October to present their list of recommendations to improve human rights in the country.

The UNHRC's report will be distributed on May 11.

Cayetano, who heads the Senate committee on foreign relations, was appointed Foreign Secretary on Wednesday by Duterte. He joined the President's working visit to Cambodia for the World Economic Forum on ASEAN.