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Group calls on UN human rights body to ‘do all it can’ to end killings in PHL

The Human Rights Watch on Friday backed the call of 39 states at the United Nations to end the killings in the Philippines and called on the UN Human Rights Council to step in and help end the violence.

In a statement, Human Rights Watch Geneva Director John Fisher noted the "growing chorus of voices" condemning the thousands of killings in the Philippines brought about by President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs.

“A growing chorus of voices is speaking out at the United Nations’ top human rights body to condemn the thousands of killings in the Philippines perpetrated in the name of President Duterte's so-called war on drugs," he said.

Iceland delivered a joint statement on behalf of 39 states at the UN, expressing "serious concern" over the killings and "culture of impunity" associated with the war on drugs.

The statement came after the Philippine government rejected 154 of 257 recommendations from UN member states to address the state of human rights in the country.

Fisher said that the Philippines has shown itself unwilling to heed calls to end the "murderous campaign" and that the UN Human Rights Council should "do all that it can" to end the violence.

"The Philippines has so far shown itself unwilling to heed the calls to end this murderous campaign and hold those responsible to account. The Human Rights Council should step in, and do all that it can to end the violence, support an international investigation into the deaths, and demand accountability for all unlawful killings,” he said.

The Philippine Mission to the United Nations in Geneva earlier hit back at its Western critics, saying that there was no culture of impunity in the country.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said it was unfortunate that some Western countries would rather "criticize and impose conditions as if they can do a better job than the Philippine Government in protecting the Filipino people." —Jessica Bartolome/KG, GMA News