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De Lima: If Duterte admin has done nothing wrong, let UN experts probe killings

Opposition senator Leila De Lima on Sunday urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to invite the United Nations special rapporteurs and let them investigate the killings linked to the Duterte administration's campaign against illegal drugs in the country.

"If this administration really thinks it has done nothing wrong, I challenge the Department of Foreign Affairs to extend formal invitation to the UN special rapporteurs so that they can find out for themselves the real situation here,” she said.

"The government must be more forthright with the records of its drug war killings. Instead of threatening these experts with arrest, they should be treated as experts capable of ensuring accountability for all these unlawful deaths," she added.

De Lima also said that the government "does not seem to care" even amid the continuing killings in the country.

Earlier this month, 11 United Nations human rights experts called for an international investigation into "unlawful deaths and police killings" linked to the so-called drug war in the Philippines.

The Palace has previously said that such a move was "intellectually challenged" and an "outrageous interference" against Philippine sovereignty.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, on the other hand, said that even the official drug war death toll can be considered "a most serious concern for any country."

According to data from the Philippine National Police, the number of drug suspects killed while resisting arrest in police drugs operations was 6,600 as of the end of May 2019.

De Lima, however, claimed that the death toll could reach 28,000 "if the number of victims officially recorded under the category of 'homicide cases under investigation' is to be included."

Meanwhile, the PNP spokesperson on Sunday said that the administration's anti-drugs campaign was set to shift its focus to the suppliers of illegal drugs. — Dona Magsino/BM, GMA News