Says drug war fatalities not genocide
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte once again hit critics of his bloody war on drugs, saying his government cannot be investigated for genocide over the killing of suspected criminals.
Duterte singled out no less than the United Nations (UN) for calling out his government over the rising body count in his war on drugs.
''Why would the United Nations be so easy to be swayed into interfering in the affairs of this republic?" Duterte said in a speech at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) recently condemned the rampant extra-judicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines, saying these do not serve the cause of justice nor better the lives of the public.
In a statement, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said the murder of suspected criminals "do not serve the cause of justice, and will not help to ensure that 'all people can live in health, dignity and peace, with security and prosperity', as agreed by governments in the outcome document approved at the UN General Assembly special session on the world drug problem."
Senator Leila de Lima, one of the staunchest critics of the president's war on drugs, had also suggested that Duterte may be charged with crimes against humanity for the unabated killings.
Duterte advised policemen to ignore the statements from the UN and other critics.
''UN, you can only investigate [for] genocide when you kill without giving a hoot, if you are killing children, whole community. But when you kill criminals who fight with you, and criminals who fight amongst themselves, that is [our] duty,'' he said.
''But we will answer, for every incident that involves killing of human being, whether connected with police duty or not, have it investigated… that way, we can be transparent."
But Duterte said he would be firm against being investigated for extra-judicial killings, claiming these are likely perpetrated by drug syndicates currently purging their ranks.
READ: PNP chief claims drug rings behind 'vigilante slays'
''For those who are killed by the drug syndicates, we can only investigate but do not attribute the acts of other criminals upon my government,'' he said.
Duterte also defended the killings arising from police operations in his war on drugs, saying that some drug pushers and users ''are no longer viable as human beings in this planet."
He said many families have suffered because of drugs, and that he would rather have more Filipinos saved from the drug menace than let the few drug pushers wreak havoc on society.