The Dangerous Drugs Board on Tuesday slammed Iceland for meddling in the government’s war on illegal drugs after it signed a draft resolution urging the United Nations Rights Council to investigate drug-related killings in the Philippines.
In a statement sent to the media, DDB asserted “like any states, the Philippines must be accorded with the full respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of states must be observed by all.”
“While the world drug problem is a common and shared responsibility, we underscore the sovereign right and duty of the Philippines to determine and implement the best approaches to address its drug problem, considering its historical, political, economic, social and cultural contexts and norms,” it noted.
READ: Palace slams AI for politicizing drug war
On July 4, Iceland filed a draft resolution urging the UNHRC act on the rising number of killings in the Philippines, including those under the bloody anti-illegal drug campaign.
The draft resolution called on the government to cooperate with UN offices and mechanisms by facilitating country visits and “refraining from all acts of intimidation or retaliation.”
Once approved, the UNHRC would request rights chief Michelle Bachelet to prepare a comprehensive report on the human rights situation in the Philippines to be presented to the council.
The council is expected to vote on the draft resolution before the 41st session ends on July 12.
“The Philippine government has used appropriate means and opportunities to present the real drug abuse situation and the government’s response to the international community. We have been participating in conferences and sessions of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs where we update UN-member states of the real data, statistics, and information concerning the anti-drug campaign,” DDB’s statement read.
The anti-drug policy-making body said they took part in the Commission on Narcotics Drugs in March and showcased the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy to guide all anti-drug efforts in the country.
The Philippine National Police, meanwhile, maintained that there is no need for international human rights groups to look into the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.
“This matter is best addressed by the executive department. The PNP submits to the better judgment and wisdom of higher authorities. At best, we can only express an opinion that any foreign body that will conduct an investigation here of local crime incidents may be unnecessary,” PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde told reporters during a press briefing held at Camp Crame.
Albayalde was reacting to a statement of London-based human rights organization Amnesty International, urging the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate human rights violations in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.
While he respects AI’s stand, the PNP chief said the Philippines has a fully functional criminal justice system that has complete jurisdiction over such domestic legal questions that need to be resolved through a formal judicial process.
“Matters involving foreign diplomatic policy are beyond the authority of the police to tread on. Allegations of killings were never proven. All our anti-illegal drugs operations continue to be conducted within the bounds of the law with utmost respect for human rights,” he said.
Albayalde said based on the PNP data from July 2016 to date, the PNP has arrested a total of 240,565 drug personalities and cleared over 12,000 barangays of illegal drug trafficking and abuse.
He said the drug campaign continues because that is part of the promise of President Duterte to eliminate the illegal drug problem in the country.
“As what I have promised since I assumed this post, we will not relax, we will not relent. We will fulfill the vision of our President of a drug-free Philippines,” he said. With PNA