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UN rapporteurs biased, concocting falsehoods on PHL rights situation —Roque

Malacañang on Friday lashed out at United Nations (UN) human rights special rapporteurs who called on the Philippine government to stop the killings blamed on President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, calling them biased and liars.

Agnes Callamard, Michel Forst and Diego Garcia-Sayan also said in a statement that the apparent involvement of law enforcement officials and unknown assailants indicated "a climate of official, institutional impunity."

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the three UN experts who released the joint statement made “negative assumptions about the country despite our explanations to the contrary.”

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

Roque, who is also the presidential adviser on human rights, cited as proof the relief of the entire Caloocan City police force last month that erring cops are investigated and punished.

“We believe that accountability is an indispensable part of good governance and the President himself made a clear stance that legitimate operations follow protocols,” Roque said.

“Even as we continue to respect the UN Special Procedures mechanism, we will not allow these biased individuals parading themselves as human rights experts to abuse such a mechanism to bully States by concocting falsehoods,” he added.

In the statement released by the rapporteurs, including special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard, it said the Philippine government should carry out “prompt, impartial investigations into the high number of killings.”

“Many of the killings appear to be perpetrated by law enforcement officials and by unknown assailants. This seems to indicate a climate of official, institutional impunity, which can only encourage further killings and other excessive use of lethal force by law enforcement personnel or those acting on their behalf or with their acquiescence,” they said.

“We call on the Government to urgently introduce appropriate measures to stop these attacks and killings being carried out,” they added. 

The other two rapporteurs who issued the statement are Michel Forst, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, and Diego García-Sayán as special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers. —NB, GMA News