Palace questions UN experts' call for drug deaths investigation

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 10 2019 04:50 PM | Updated as of Jun 10 2019 05:06 PM

MANILA- Malacañang questioned Monday the call of several United Nations human rights experts for an investigation into alleged unlawful killings in the Philippines.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said there is no use in conducting an investigation when the UN experts have already made a conclusion.

"How can you be asking for an investigation when you already concluded that this country has violated certain human rights and has killed many people?" he said during a Palace press briefing.

"So what’s the use of investigating kung may conclusion ka na, ‘di ba?" he said.

Panelo's remarks come after Vice President Leni Robredo said Sunday the government should welcome the inquiry if it has nothing to hide.

Eleven UN experts called on the UN Human Rights Council last Friday to launch an independent probe into the "staggering number of unlawful deaths and police killings" and alleged slays of human rights defenders in the Philippines.

They made the call ahead of a 3-week session of the rights body on June 24.

Authorities claim that over 5,000 people have been killed in legitimate anti-drug operations since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in 2016.

Human rights groups, however, believe the figure could be more than 10,000, including summary killings.

The Duterte spokesman earlier slammed the UN experts' call for an investigation, calling it an "an outrageous interference on Philippine sovereignty."