President Rodrigo Duterte remains firm that international groups should not probe his drug war despite a survey showing the majority of Filipinos think the government should not block it, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said President Duterte will continue his war on drugs without submitting to any investigation led by international groups, including the United Nations.
He made the statement after Social Weather Stations on Monday released a survey showing that 60 percent of the Filipinos it polled agree that the government should not block international groups from probing the drug-related deaths that involve the Philippine National Police.
The survey also found that the respondents from Mindanao, the island where the President comes from, had the highest net agreement at +50.
This was followed by Luzon (+45), Metro Manila (+43) and the Visayas (+42).
Panelo reiterated that any investigation by an international group would be an “assault to our sovereignty.”
“They do not need to interfere because we have a robust judicial system. We investigate the cases, we file charges. Do not interfere in our country,” Panelo said.
He also said Duterte will not convince the public that there is no need for an investigation led by international groups.
“He is not interested in popularity,” Panelo said.
When Duterte ran for president he promised to eradicate the drug menace in the country within six months.
He launched a campaign against illegal drugs when he took office in 2016, and thousands of alleged drug suspects and children have been killed in police operations and vigilante-style murders since then.
The latest child casualty in the drug war was Myca Ulpina, a three-year-old girl who was shot dead during a police operation in late June.
The anti-narcotics crackdown drew criticisms from both local and international human rights groups, which claim that due process was violated.
Recently, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution asking the High Commissioner to conduct a “comprehensive report” on the human rights situation in the country.
The resolution was filed by Iceland and supported by more than a dozen countries.
Amnesty International, a 50-year-old human rights watchdog, has also slammed Duterte’s drug war and claimed there is sufficient evidence that drug-related deaths constitute “crimes against humanity.”
The Palace has been insisting the killings are not state-sponsored and the police operations against the drug war are legitimate.