Cayetano hits back at UN Commissioner on drug war comment

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 14) — Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano hit the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights, saying he relied on "uncorroborated information" regarding his report on the spate of killings in the Philippines.

"The Commissioner's report would have been balanced and accurate had he considered the information that we provided," Cayetano said in a statement, Wednesday.

The Foreign Affairs Secretary said they gave the international human rights council with "all the facts" on the administration's campaign against illegal drugs when they presented the Philippines' report to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva, Switzerland, back in May 2017.

On Tuesday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zei Ra'ad Al Hussein said he was "gravely concerned" by the President's shoot-to-kill policy on suspects.

Al Hussein said he was also concerned by the apparent absence of credible investigations into reports of thousands of extrajudicial killings, and the failure to prosecute any perpetrator, mentioning the case of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos who was killed in an alleged shootout.

Cayetano refuted this, saying the administration's campaign against illegal drugs follows protocol.

"The anti-illegal drug campaign should follow approved protocols to ensure the protection of human rights, and that any erring law enforcement agent would be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law," Cayetano said.

The administration's drug war has claimed the lives of over 3,800 drug suspects in police operations, from July 1, 2016 to August 29, 2017. Meanwhile, 76 law enforcers have died while on duty.