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Palace shrugs off survey, insists international probe into drug war against PHL sovereignty

Malacañang on Tuesday shrugged off the latest survey that showed majority of Filipinos believe that the government should not impede international investigations on the killings linked to the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.

According to the June survey of the Social Weather Stations, 26 percent "strongly agree" and 34 percent "somewhat agree" to the statement: "The government should not block the investigation of international groups, like the United Nations, into the killing by the Philippine police of so many drug suspects who supposedly fought back."

Fifteen percent disagreed while 25 percent were undecided.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the government’s position that an international probe into the war on drugs was an affront to Philippine sovereignty will not change despite the survey results.

“It will not, kasi nga it’s an assault on our sovereignty,” Panelo said at a news conference.

“Hindi naman natin ini-stop eh. Ang reaction natin is: you cannot do that to us, because we are a sovereign state. Lumalakad lahat iyong aming sistema dito.”

Panelo cited the statement of Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin who said on Friday that he did not see a need for foreign interference in the country's affairs, in light of a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution for an investigation into President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

The Palace official said that the respondents believed the claims of critics of the administration.

“Naniniwala sila doon sa kritiko na akala nila humahadlang tayo; and yet Filipinos are saying na tama naman iyong kanyang drug war,” Panelo said.

The UNHRC resolution, which asked Philippine authorities to prevent extrajudicial killings and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to report back on her findings in a year, was backed by 18 countries and opposed by 14 countries, including the Philippines and China.

Fifteen other countries, including Japan, abstained.

Iceland, which sponsored the resolution, said last week that it still hopes the Philippines would cooperate with the UNHRC's investigation. —LDF, GMA News