Gov't shuns UN experts: We will never condone EJKs

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 25) — The government condemned three United Nations (UN) experts' call for an end to killings in the drug war.

Malacañang on Friday let out a fiery statement against the UN special rapporteurs, calling them "biased individuals parading themselves as human rights experts."

These include UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard, whom President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly lashed out at for comments on the bloody drug campaign.

"We reiterate that the current administration does not - and will never - condone extrajudicial and vigilante killings and does not tolerate human rights violations," the Palace said.

It cited as proof the relief of the Caloocan City Police force in September following the alleged involvement of some cops in the killings of teenagers Kian delos Santos, Carl Angelo Arnaiz, and Reynaldo "Kulot" de Guzman, as well as an alleged robbery by the police that was caught on video.

Related: Caloocan police force replaced

Malacañang said that while the government respects UN's procedures, it will not let Callamard and other UN experts "bully States by concocting falsehoods."

 

The UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner on Thursday released snippets of the joint statement signed by Callamard, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders Michel Forst and Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Diego García-Sayán.

"A great number of new cases have been reported to us involving killings of men, women and children," they said in a joint statement.

"We call on the (Philippine) Government to urgently introduce appropriate measures to stop these attacks and killings being carried out," they added.

They also urged the government to promptly investigate the killings which seem to be perpetrated by either law enforcement officials themselves or unknown assailants.

Investigations should be "impartial and independent" and the judiciary must be free from external pressures, the experts said.

There seems to be a "climate of official, institutional impunity" in the country, the experts said, adding this can lead to more killings.

The special rapporteurs looked into the country's drug war as part of UN's independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms.

Over 3,900 drug suspects were killed in police operations since the start of the bloody drug war in July 2016, government data show.

Local and international human rights groups said Duterte in his public pronouncements ordered or encouraged policemen to kill those involved in the drug trade. They said this resulted in more than 13,000 extrajudicial killings in the drug war.

Malacañang, however, have repeatedly said there are no state-sponsored killings and committed to investigate officers who violate and abuse their power.