Palace counters UN High Commissioner’s ‘grave concern’ with ‘deep concern’

By , on September 12, 2017

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella. (PCOO photo)
FILE: Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella. (PCOO photo)

Malacañang reiterated on Tuesday that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s campaign on drugs did not include a shoot-to-kill order against suspects, denouncing the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ (UNHCR) speech on Monday.

“We are deeply concerned with the UNHCR Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s sweeping statements during the UNHR Council’s 36th session, citing instances bereft of factual basis. Mr. Al Hussein’s broad references about the supposed policies of the President run counter to what he continues to pronounce,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.

Abella mentioned that the President has ‘categorically and repeatedly’ denied the existence of a shoot-to-kill order, furthering that drug killings are all subject to investigations.

This was in response to Al-Hussein’s speech on Monday.

“In the Philippines, I continue to be gravely concerned by the President’s open support for a shoot-to-kill policy regarding suspects, as well as by the apparent absence of credible investigations into reports of thousands of extrajudicial killings, and the failure to prosecute any perpetrator,” a part of the High Commissioner’s opening said.

Abella stood firm with the President’s words saying, “The objective of the President’s campaign against illegal drugs is to preserve the lives of the Filipino people, to prevent the destruction of Filipino families, and to protect the Philippines from becoming a narco-state.”

Al Hussein also noted Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II describing Kian de los Santos’ slay case as an ‘isolated case.’ “However, suspicion of extrajudicial killings has now become so widespread that the initials E.J.K. (Extra Judicial Killings) have reportedly become a verb in some communities – as in ‘he was EJK-ed,” the Commissioner added.

He furthered that he was ‘appalled’ by the President’s ‘lack of respect for due process rights of all Filipinos,’ and he was ‘horrified’ by the latter’s comment on bombing Lumad schools.

The UNHRC is 47-member-state inter-governmental body responsible in promoting and protecting all human rights worldwide.