Palace: UN call for probe on human rights violations in PH 'outrageous interference' on sovereignty

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 8) — Malacañang has dismissed the call of a group of human rights experts to investigate allegations of human rights violations in the country, saying the Philippines has "demonstrated strength and resilience in exercising the democratic rights outlined by the Constitution."

Eleven human rights experts within the United Nations Human Rights Council in a joint statement on Friday cited a "sharp deterioration in the situation of human rights across the country, including sustained attacks on people and institutions defending human rights."

Among the experts is UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard.

The Palace said the experts' call was not only "intellectually challenged but an outrageous interference on Philippine sovereignty."

"Let the enemies of the state and their supporters from foreign soil be forewarned that no amount of destructive narratives against this government will envelope it with the appearance of pretended truth to hoodwink the Filipino people in embracing it," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

He went on to say the allegations of the special rapporteurs are "culled from false information emanating from the purveyors of status quo ante the Duterte presidency."

"Lest these foreign propagandists, masquerading as human right protectors, forget, allegations are not proof," Panelo said.

The results of the recently-concluded elections, the Palace said, showed support for President Rodrigo Duterte, adding "those who have spoken against the campaign on illegal drugs and human rights record of this President have been overwhelmingly rejected by the Filipino electorate."

The DFA added that the call for an investigation was made in bad faith by those who want to undermine the government.

"By ignoring the accountability and other information provided by the Philippines in good faith, these parties show their bias and political agenda and assail the credibility and objectivity of the human rights mechanisms as constructive platforms of dialogue between the United Nations and the member states," the DFA said.

DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. was previously the Philippines' Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Commissioner Chito Gascon said the Commission welcomes the experts' call for a probe.