AUGUST 20, 2016 — Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella today said government has not invited the United Nations (UN) to look into alleged extrajudicial killings in the country.
He also said President Rodrigo Duterte views this as “unwelcome meddling in national affairs.”
In a statement, Abella said no invitation has been extended to the UN or any other body to look into the country’s national affairs.
“We are capable of our own internal dialogue,” he said.
Abella issued statement after UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions Dr. Agnes Callamard accepted a dare made by lawyer Salvador Panelo, President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel, to visit the Philippines to see the situation here for herself.
“When you are in New York or somewhere else, 10,000 kilometers or miles away from the Philippines and then you make such judgments, that’s recklessness…Those statements are misplaced and baseless, and they better come over and see for themselves the real situation,” Panelo was quoted as saying on Friday.
Responding to this statement, Callamard tweeted: “Invitation to investigate welcomed. Ready to ‘see for myself.’”
Invitation to investigate welcomed. Ready to "see for myself." https://t.co/K9BIZ3ZFKO
— Dr Agnes Callamard (@AgnesCallamard) August 19, 2016
Abella, however, clarified that no such invitation was made to Callamard.
“In an unofficial exchange between Legal Counsel and UN mouthpieces, the latter assumed they were offered an invitation to come and investigate the spike in drug related deaths being labeled as extra-judicial, or a license to kill freely,” he said.
Abella also scored the UN over its pronouncements on Duterte’s campaign against drugs, saying the international body is imposing “liberal Western values” on the Philippines.
“The liberal Western values being imposed upon an Asian nation, (which) places premium on common good, is both insensitive and displays a lack of appreciation for the diversity of global culture,” he said.
Abella said Duterte has made it clear that arresting officers are allowed to defend themselves, their lives, or their team.
“The same police enforcers are subject to rule of law should they go beyond their mandate. Beyond these, the President operates under the presumption of regularity in the drive against drugs,” he added.
“The Drug Situation is being responsibly addressed by Philippine authorities, and so-called investigations by third parties are objectionable interference in the household affairs of a nation whose citizens welcome the change that the President and his people friendly policies and programs being set in place,” Abella said.