PH chief executive defiant over UNHRC probe of drug war

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said the UN Human Rights Commission must be stupid for thinking he would cooperate with their investigation of alleged human rights abuses in his war on illegal drugs.

PH chief executive defiant over UNHRC probe of drug war

President Duterte said he would only face trial before a Philippine court should he be tried for drug-related deaths during his term.

“Look, as I have told you before ladies and gentlemen of the world, including all the governments there, I will only be tried or face a trial in a Philippine court presided by a Filipino judge, prosecuted by a Filipino,” Duterte said in a television interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.

“I will not answer a Caucasian asking question or white man there. You must be stupid. Who are you? I am a Filipino, we have our courts here. Why would you have to bring me somewhere else? I would not like that,” he said.

He insisted that there is no need for foreign intervention to probe whether he is liable for the deaths or not.

“I have my country. It’s working, I know it’s working. Justice is working here,” he said.

The President’s statements came in response to a question on whether he would cut ties with Iceland, which drafted the resolution calling for a UNHRC investigation.

READ: UN Rights Council adopts reso on PH drug war

Last week, the UNHRC voted to authorize the high commissioner to prepare a comprehensive report on the alleged human rights violations in the Philippines’ war on illegal drugs.

In February last year, the International Criminal Court also launched a preliminary examination of the drug war killings to determine if a full-blown investigation is needed.

A month after that, Duterte announced the Philippines would withdraw from the ICC. The withdrawal took effect on March 17.

Citing the Rome Statute, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the ICC “retains its jurisdiction over crimes committed during the time in which the state was party to the statute.”

The ICC can prosecute genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“My office’s independent and impartial preliminary examination into the situation in the Philippines continues,” she said in a statement.

At least Filipinos working in Iceland may be affected if the country will cut diplomatic ties with the Nordic country, Duterte said.

He said, however, that he would not sit idly by if Reykjavík moved against Filipinos in the country.

Earlier, the Palace said Duterte was “seriously considering” cutting ties with Iceland.

READ: Rody slams Iceland, UN reso

The UNHRC adopted the Iceland-led resolution after 18 countries voted yes, 14 said no, and 15 abstained.

Duterte also criticized Iceland for calling out his campaign against illegal drugs, saying it does not understand the political situation of the country.

“Wait until the drug menace reaches their shore,” he said.

Since 2017, Iceland has led at least three calls for an independent body to probe drug-related killings in the Philippines.

The Palace said the Iceland-led resolution was an assault to the country’s sovereignty and is based on false information fed by the administration’s critics.

On Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the Philippines will not cut diplomatic ties with the UNHRC or any other country.

Duterte slammed his critics, saying that they assumed that anyone who was killed in the streets was murdered by the government.

“Every time they see a cadaver or a dead person there, they will just assume that it is a victim of extrajudicial killing,” he said.

Government figures showed there have been 6,000 drug-related deaths since Duterte took office, while human rights groups pegged the number at 20,000, including those who were killed vigilante-style.

Duterte has been widely criticized for his anti-narcotics crackdown because thousands of people have died in police operations including children, the latest of whom was Myca Ulpina, a three-year-old killed in a buy-bust operation on June 29 in Manila.

Senator Imee Marcos, who called for cutting ties with Iceland, said the Philippines should not withdraw from the UNHRC.

“We are not [the] USA. We lose our voice if we leave. UNHRC is government-represented,” she said.

READ: Iceland meddling in drugs war hit

READ: PH slams intrusion by 11 rights experts

READ: Palace slams AI for politicizing drug war

Topics: Rodrigo Duterte , UN Human Rights Commission , Apollo Quiboloy
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