Rights experts just making noise—Sotto

Saying they were just making noise, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Sunday the government should simply ignore the calls of human rights experts to the United Nation’s Human Rights Council to investigate the bloody drug war in the Philippines. 

“Let’s ignore them. They are just making noise,” Sotto told dzBB radio. He described as “confusing” the request of the 11 human rights experts to investigate the drug war in the Philippines.

He made the statement even as the Department of Foreign Affairs on Saturday slammed some United Nations rapporteurs for allegedly being biased over their fresh calls for an independent probe on the human rights situation in Manila.

“We reject this call as it is being made in bad faith by parties who want to undermine domestic processes and spread disinformation on the basis of one-sided reports coming from questionable sources,” the department said in a statement through Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Emmanuel Fernandez.

Sotto, saying there were worse killings being reported in other countries, questioned why the human rights experts were focused on investigating only the Philippines.

But Senator Francis Pangilinan said he appreciated the efforts of the UN experts for taking notice and for trying to hold state forces accountable for the killing of tens of thousands of Filipinos.

He also commented them for valuing the loss of fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters in a deadly manufactured drug war that had killed only the poor and the powerless, but had also seen the promotion and reappointment of Customs officials who allowed the smuggling of tons of illegal drugs worth billions of pesos.

“We hope that the international community’s attention will help slow if not stop the swaggering impunity among those who have abused their power with these killings, including the restoring death penalty and criminalizing offenders as young as nine or 12 years old, Pangilinan said. 

Sotto also questioned the authority of the human rights experts to ask for an investigation of law enforcement in the Philippines.

On Friday, 11 independent experts urged the UN Human Rights Council, whose 47 member states open a three-week session on June 24, to launch an independent investigation into what they called a sharp deterioration in human rights across the Philippines due to the “staggering number” of what they called violent and unlawful killings of drug suspects. With PNA

READ: PH slams intrusion by 11 rights experts

READ: UN experts call for independent inquiry into EJK

Topics: Vicente Sotto III , United Nations , Human Rights Council , Department of Foreign Affairs
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